The American Red Cross is facing an urgent shortage of blood and platelets and must collect 10,000 more blood products each week over the next month to ensure the blood supply recovers supplies and meets the needs of patients and hospitals.
The Red Cross’s national blood inventory has fallen to its lowest level since 2015 with less than a day’s supply of certain blood types in recent weeks, said Rosie Taravella, regional CEO of the American Red Cross New Jersey.
There are fewer people going to work due to the COVID-19 pandemic. In the past, people normally donated blood at their business blood drives. Schools also do not organize blood drives as they have in the past.
There is also some concern among people who are in public because of the delta variant of the virus.
Elective surgeries are also making a comeback in hospitals after being put on hold for a while due to the pandemic.
Hospitals and patients in need depend on the generosity of others. Make an appointment using the Red Cross Blood Donor App, visiting RedCrossBlood.org or calling 1-800-RED CROSS (1-800-733-2767). All blood drives taking place in New Jersey through October 15 can be viewed on the website.
“We hope to be able to get to a place where we collect around 600 units per day in our blood region. It’s an average but it’s typical as it meets the demands of the hospitals,” Taravella said.
The supply of O positive and O negative types, the blood groups most needed by hospitals, has also dropped to less than half a day at times over the past month. Taravella said it was well below the ideal five-day supply. These blood groups can be used in emergency situations because anyone can receive O-negative blood despite their blood type.
Taravella told those who are still hesitant to come out and donate blood, rest assured the process is safe. All COVID security protocols are followed, including cleaning, disinfection, and social distancing.
As a thank you, anyone who donates blood on Thursday, September 30 will receive a limited edition football-inspired t-shirt while supplies last, as well as a coupon for a free haircut via email from Sports Haircuts clips.
Anyone who donates in October will receive an email link to claim a free Zaxby’s Signature Sandwich reward or get a $ 5 e-gift card at a merchant of their choice.
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