Red Cross declares first ever national blood crisis

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WASHINGTON, D.C. (WCIA) — January is National Blood Donor Month, but the American Red Cross is marking the occasion by taking the unprecedented step of declaring a national blood crisis.

In a joint statement, the Red Cross, Association for the Advancement of Blood and Biotherapies (AABB) and America’s Blood Centers said the nation’s blood supply remains an one of its lowest levels in years. In recent weeks, blood centers nationwide have reported less than a day’s worth of blood supply.

Officials said part of the reason is because of COVID-19. Donor turnout is decreasing and blood drives are being cancelled, but they said the need for blood remains constant.

AABB, America’s Blood Centers and the Red Cross urged eligible, healthy individuals to contact their local blood center and make an appointment to donate. Local businesses are asked to encourage their employees, including those working remotely, to donate.

People who have received a COVID-19 vaccine are able to donate blood as long as they are symptom-free and feeling well at the time of donation. Blood collection organizations continue to adapt their safety protocols to ensure the safest possible experience for all donors, staff and blood drive hosts.

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