American Red Cross declares first-ever national blood crisis

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Posted at 7:54 AM, Jan 11, 2022
and last updated 2022-01-11 08:54:25-05

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WTVF) — For the first time ever, The American Red Cross has declared a national blood crisis.

The nation's blood supply is dangerously low and the nonprofit blames the pandemic. The organization reported a 34% decline in new donors in 2021.

The pandemic forced the cancellation of blood drives and led to staffing challenges. Blood centers across the U.S. have reported less than a one-day supply of some blood types. This is being called the worst blood shortage in more than a decade.

Hospitals need blood for surgeries, transplants, cancer treatments and chronic illnesses.

America's Blood Centers and the Association for the Advancement of Blood and Biotherapies said in a statement if the nation's blood supply does not stabilize soon, life-saving blood may not be available for some patients when it is needed.

Right now, the nonprofit said doctors are being forced to make tough decisions about who should get blood and who needs to wait.

“Nobody wakes up in the morning and plans on being the next trauma patient. So, this literally could affect you or your family members,” said Dr. Jennifer Andrews with Vanderbilt University Medical Center.

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