Saturday, May 21, 2022

Red Cross: Blood shortage now ‘critical,’ donations needed

 

Chronic Hepatitis C often has no symptoms. Infected persons often “do not look or feel sick."(Courtesy Pixabay)
The Red Cross is facing a critical shortage of blood and platelet donations, and it is asking the public for help (Courtesy Pixabay)

Snowstorms, the holidays and the flu have left the Red Cross on the edge of being bled out.

The Red Cross is facing a critical shortage of blood and platelet donations, and it is asking the public for help, according to a Red Cross news release.

“Blood and platelet donations are currently being distributed to hospitals faster than they are coming in,” said Red Cross spokeswoman Bernadette Jay. “Donors are critically needed to restock the shelves for patients in their community, as well as areas where donors are unable to give due to inclement weather.”

Hundreds of blood drives have been canceled due to the winter weather so far this month, according to the Red Cross. More than 16,500 blood and platelet donations went uncollected in January in the region.

In Virginia, 41 blood drives were canceled in January causing nearly 1000 fewer donations.

Cold weather and ‘widespread’ flu have also driven down participation at the drives, according to the Red Cross.

“Every day, no matter the weather, the Red Cross must collect more than 13,000 blood and platelet donations to meet the needs of patients,” Jay said.

There are dozens of blood drives around Hampton Roads in the coming weeks. To find one near you, go to the Red Cross blood donation website.

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