Kansas City, Missouri – The American Red Cross is currently in a critical situation due to a severe lack of blood donations. This is the lowest it’s been in two decades. They urgently need blood and platelet donors to address this shortage and help critical medical treatments happen on time.
Dr. Pampee Young, the Red Cross’s chief medical officer and head of the largest blood supply organization in the U.S., explained the direness of the situation. She mentioned that doctors are struggling with the challenge of having many patients but no blood supplies in the hospital. In America, someone requires life-saving blood every two seconds, and having access to blood can mean the difference between life and death. However, this crucial need for blood relies heavily on the willingness of people to donate.
Blood donation challenges in recent years
In the past 20 years, the Red Cross has seen a 40% drop in blood donations. Even minor interruptions in donations can cause big problems, like the 7,000-unit shortfall during the Christmas to New Year’s period. This shortage greatly affects the availability of blood for emergencies.
Looking ahead, challenges like winter weather and illnesses such as flu and COVID-19 might reduce the number of people donating blood, worsening the current critical situation.
The decrease in donors is due to changes in how people participate in their communities, including shifts to remote work during COVID-19, making it hard to reach potential donors. Changes in donor eligibility, like higher hemoglobin requirements, have led to more people, especially young ones, being unable to donate. Hospitals have also changed how they use blood, affecting demand.
These combined factors have made it tough to maintain and grow a base of committed blood donors to meet the needs of patients over the last two decades.Top of Form
Where you can donate blood in Missouri in January
January blood donation opportunities include weekdays at the Springfield Blood Donation Center, 313 E. Battlefield Road; 1-5 p.m. Jan 23 at Baptist Bible College, 628 E. Kearney St.; 11:30 a.m.-3:30 p.m. Jan. 26 at Council of Churches of the Ozarks, 3055 E. Division St.; 1:30-5:30 p.m. Jan. 31 at The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints YSA Ward, 904 S. Kimbrough Ave.; and 2-6 p.m. Jan. 31 at The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints Orchard Hills Ward, 320 W. Jackson St., Willard.