Red Cross experiencing emergency blood shortage

Published 6:43 pm Monday, September 27, 2021

The American Red Cross says it’s experiencing an emergency blood and platelet shortage, and its national blood inventory is at its lowest level since 2015.

The supply of types O positive and O negative blood, the most needed blood types by hospitals, dropped to less than a half-day supply at times over the past month. Ideally, there’d be a five-day supply on hand.

Blood donor participation decreased by about 10% as COVID-19 cases spiked in August, the Red Cross says, but blood product distributions to hospital have remained strong, significantly outpacing blood donations in recent weeks.

“Fall is typically a time when the blood supply rebounds as donors are more available to give than during the busy summer months, but this year has presented a unique and serious challenge,” said Dr. Pampee Young, chief medical officer for the Red Cross. “While it’s clear the pandemic continues to weigh heavily on our minds, the Red Cross asks the public to remember donating blood and platelets is essential to the many patients that rely on lifesaving transfusions every day.”

To make an appointment to give blood or platelets, visit redcrossblood.org or call 1-800-733-2767. Donors are asked to schedule an appointment before arriving at a blood drive.

Here are the upcoming blood drives in Beaufort County:

·      Tuesday, Sept. 28: 11 a.m. – 3 p.m., First Presbyterian Church, 211 West Second St.

·      Thursday, Sept. 30: 2 – 6 p.m., Mother of Mercy Catholic Church Washington, 112 W. Ninth St.

·      Friday, Oct. 1: 2 – 7 p.m., Clarks Neck Fire & Rescue Department, 3797 Wharton Station Road

·      Thursday, Oct. 7: 10 a.m. – 2 p.m., Beaufort County Health Department, 1436 Highland Drive

·      Also Thursday, Oct. 7: 11 a.m. – 2:30 p.m., Fitness Unlimited, 622 W. 15th St.

·      Monday, Oct. 11: 9:30 a.m. – 1 p.m., Department of Environmental Quality, 943 Washington Square Mall.