American Red Cross facing dire blood shortage

Amid the omicron surge, the American Red Cross is facing a national blood crisis — its worst blood shortage in over a decade, according to a release from the organization. The Red Cross says the shortage poses a risk to patient care, as doctors have been forced to make difficult decisions about who receives blood transfusions and who will need to wait until more products become available.

Blood and platelet donations are critically needed to help prevent further delays in vital medical treatments. “While some types of medical care can wait, others can’t,” notes Dr. Pampee Young, chief medical officer of the Red Cross. “Hospitals are still seeing accident victims, cancer patients, those with blood disorders like sickle cell disease, and individuals who are seriously ill who all need blood transfusions to live even as omicron cases surge across the country. We’re doing everything we can to increase blood donations to ensure every patient can receive medical treatments without delay, but we cannot do it without more donors.”

Interested blood donors can make an appointment to give blood or platelets by using the Red Cross Blood Donor App, visiting RedCrossBlood.org, or calling 1-800-RED CROSS (1-800-733-2767).