As snow and freezing temperatures blanket the Midwest, the Red Cross is experiencing an emergency blood shortage. The nation faces the lowest number of people giving blood in 20 years. The Red Cross blood supply has fallen to critically low levels across the country, and blood and platelet donors are urged to make a donation appointment to help alleviate the shortage and help ensure lifesaving medical procedures are not put on hold.
Blood products are currently going to hospitals faster than blood donations are coming in. In recent weeks, the Red Cross has had to limit distributions of some of the most transfused blood types to hospitals. A sufficient blood supply is critical to being able to provide timely care for all patients in need of lifesaving blood transfusions. It's the blood on the shelves that helps in times of emergency. Blood cannot be manufactured or stockpiled and can only be made available through the kindness of volunteer donors.
January is National Blood Donor Month. In 1969, President Richard Nixon declared January a time to thank blood donors and to turn attention to the need for consistent blood donors. At the Red Cross, we are spending the month celebrating those who give blood to help save lives; and we are working to ensure a stable blood supply.
You can help. After you’ve dug yourself out of the snow, visit redcrossblood.org. Learn more about donor eligibility and make an appointment to give blood.