Red Cross: Current blood shortage is worst in 20 years. The winter weather isn't helping

This week, the Red Cross declared a blood emergency. Officials urge people to donate.

Gillian Neff and Rose Shannon

Jan 13, 2024, 1:38 PM

Updated 155 days ago

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This week, the Red Cross declared a blood emergency and officials say the winter makes the situation worse.
Officials say the current blood shortage emergency is the worst they have in 20 years. They urge people to donate.
"There's no way to get blood from anywhere besides a donor's arm and that blood that you donate could be used to save the life of somebody who's been in a car accident. It could be used to help save a newborn baby, or it could be used to help get a cancer patient through their treatment," says Dr. Eric Gehrie, executive medical director of the American Red Cross.
Gehrie says the winter weather has deterred people from participating in blood drives, along with the various viruses going around.
At this point, he says an additional 8,000 blood donations are needed each week this month to meet hospital demands.
"Without an increase in blood donation over the next couple of weeks, there won't be enough blood in hospital blood banks in order to allow doctors to respond to emergencies," says Gehire.
Click here to find a blood drive convenient for you.


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