Blood shortage across the Coast

There is an urgent need for blood nationally and locally. News 25’s Janae Jordan spoke with the American Red Cross and the Blood Center about how low donor turnouts are causing a blood shortage.

Fall is typically a time when the blood supply rebounds from summer blood shortages, but that is not the case this year as many people opted out of giving blood when COVID cases started to rise again. This has now contributed to a low donor turnout and shortage of blood. Denise M. Smith American Red Cross Donor Recruitment said, “Every year around the holidays, we generally tend to go under something called an appeal. That appeal means the blood supply was dipped so low that there are patients being turned away from treatments. They are being turned away from surgery. Typically, that happens around November, December. This year, we went on appeal at the end of September.”

The shortage at American Red Cross has caused the blood supply to drop to the lowest post-summer level in at least six years. “There is a need for American Red Cross nationwide to collect about 10,000 units more each week in the coming months to make sure that the blood supply gets back to where it needs to be.”

Gina Necaise, coastal regional coordinator at the Blood Center, tells News 25 they only have a one-day supply of blood. “We really need to have a three-to-four-day supply, especially to be prepared if some sort of tragedy or emergency happens.”

Not only is blood needed for emergency situations, but it is also needed in cancer patients. “There are a lot of cancer patients that need different components and different transfusions to help with their treatments.”

American Red Cross will host a blood drive Thursday at MGCCC- George County Center Magnolia Room from 9 a.m. until 2 p.m. The Blood Center will host a blood drive on Friday at the Gautier Donor Center from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m.

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