DAYTON, Ohio (WDTN) – With COVID-19 having an impact on everything from supply chain processes to the way students are taking classes, blood banks are one of many sectors struggling as a result of the pandemic.
According the Red Cross, the organization’s current blood supply is the lowest it has seen this time of year in more than a decade. In a press release, the organization said since notifying the public of its dire need for donations, many Americans have signed up to give blood. However, they also said, “At least 10,000 more donations are needed each week in the coming weeks to meet patient needs – ahead of the upcoming holiday season, which always presents seasonal challenges to blood collection.”
Mark Pompilio, public relations and marketing manager for the Community Blood Center in Dayton, said while the situation is not as intense in the Miami Valley, they too, are seeing significantly fewer donations as the pandemic continues on.
“This morning we’ve got a five-day supply of type O-positive blood, which is in the yellow for us, and [we’re] down to a two-day supply of O-negative, which is in the red,” he said.
Pompilio said the Community Blood Center supplies blood to 15 counties and a total of 23 hospitals. He said typically, the organization’s blood supply is plentiful in October, since there are no major holidays during the month and schools and organizations have settled in their operations. However, he said this year companies and individuals in the region seem to be less comfortable with giving blood due to COVID-related factors.
“The reason being, that the pandemic [has] not changed,” he said. “For a lot of our blood drive sponsors…they are not back to normal. They can’t have large events on their campuses or their workers are not back in the office. More space is needed at events…just by regulation that the company [has] passed out. They’re all good, practical measures and they do come top-down, and they do influence events like blood drives.”
Pompilio said, while the organization anticipates being able to get enough blood donations to last them through the fall, he’s concerned if there will be enough donations to carry them through the busy holiday season, particularly with inclement weather having a tendency to cause a decrease in participation.
“We can’t complain when we know that we can look at some of our neighbors and other parts of the country that are [in] way worse situations right now,” said Pompilio. “So, we realize that we are doing the job and our donors are stepping up and that is important, but it’s also a day-to day-situation. There’s not a big surplus to ride into the winter months and holiday periods that are coming up.”
The Community Blood Center is currently most in need of the universal blood type, O-negative. To learn how to donate to the Red Cross, click here. To learn more about donating to the Community Blood Center, click here.