The American Red Cross is pushing high schools to reinstate blood drives after announcing a national blood shortage and that the country’s blood supply has reached “critically low levels.”
According to the organization, which supplies 40% of the blood and blood components in the country, more blood products are being distributed to hospitals than are being donated. According to the report, donations have decreased by over 25% since the beginning of August.
“back-to-back months of worsening climate-driven disasters,”
A busy travel season and “back-to-back months of worsening climate-driven disasters,” which led to the suspension of several blood drives, were cited by the Red Cross as contributing factors.
According to April Phillips, a representative for the American Red Cross, “typically, during the summertime and around the winter holidays—and just after the holidays—most blood collectors see a dip in blood donations.”
The fact that fewer blood drives are being held at educational institutions like high schools and colleges, according to Phillips, is a significant contributing cause to the shortfall even if this midyear drop in donations is not unexpected.
According to data gathered by America’s Blood Centers, more than 4 million people in the United States got red blood cell transfusions in 2019. Blood transfusions are performed daily in maternity, pediatric, and trauma care, therefore the requirement is ongoing.
Red blood cells only last for 42 days, therefore a week’s worth of donated blood is optimal. Throughout the pandemic, the majority of banks have managed with a three- to five-day supply.
According to Phillips, before to the Covid-19 outbreak, school blood drives contributed to around 25% of the Red Cross’s donations.
Red Cross Blood Shortage
In 2020, the American Red Cross, the US is experiencing its worst blood shortage in more than ten years as a result of a decline in blood drives brought on by the pandemic.
The group pushed people to donate blood after claiming that the “national blood crisis” was endangering patient care and causing doctors to make difficult decisions about who can receive blood transfusions.
Recent shortages of vital blood types forced the Red Cross, which supplies 40% of the country’s blood, to restrict the provision of blood products to hospitals. According to the article, up to 25% of hospital blood needs are occasionally not satisfied.