DAYTON, Ohio (WDTN) – American Red Cross leaders say that across the US, many blood centers are dealing with less than one day’s worth of blood supplies. The need is so critical ARC leaders say they haven’t seen this large of a shortage in nearly a decade.
“What is particularly difficult is when the Red Cross doesn’t have blood. We supply more than 40 percent of the nation’s blood. We have a nationwide blood bank,” said American Red Cross Regional Communications Director Marita Salkowski.
Salkowski said that if we don’t start to see an increase in blood donations and supply soon, the fear becomes not having the life-saving blood to supply to patients in need. “A lot has to do with the holiday, time of year, the weather. Sometimes it might be fear of omicron variant.”
At Dayton’s Community Blood Center, public relations manager Mark Pompilio said he and his team are also feeling the impact of the blood shortage. “We’re fortunate that we can say we’re on low supply, but still somewhere in the three to four-day range particularly on type O. That’s a tribute to our donors, and usage wasn’t particularly high over the holiday weekend. That can affect everything,” said Pompilio.
Another issue Pompilio said they’re experiencing is the health of blood donors during the pandemic. “People are becoming more and more infected with this omicron strain of the virus. It doesn’t necessarily mean being hospitalized, although the hospitalization rate is scary right now. Although, the hospitalization rate is scary right now. But, it does put us in a position of not knowing who will be able to donate in the coming weeks,” said Pompilio.
Those who are eligible to donate need to be age 17 or older, or 16 with parental consent. You must also be 110 pounds or over and in good health. People can donate blood every 56 days.
A New Year’s resolution blood drive event is being held at Dayton’s Community Blood Center from now until December 31. Click here for more information.