The American Red Cross declares a national blood shortage, here’s why

The Red Cross is sounding the alarm about the country's blood supply.
Published: Sep. 12, 2023 at 5:49 PM EDT|Updated: Sep. 12, 2023 at 6:16 PM EDT
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RICHMOND, Va. (WWBT) - The American Red Cross declared a national blood shortage on Monday, Sept. 11.

The Red Cross reports that the national blood supply has dropped nearly 25% since August.

“Every two seconds, someone in the United States needs blood,” explained Jonathan McNamara, the communications director for the American Red Cross.

He told NBC12 that summer vacations and schools being out impact the supply because fewer people donated, but it doesn’t usually drop this low.

McNamara also said natural disasters, like recent hurricanes, are a major factor in the shortage.

“There were hundreds of blood drives that were canceled in the state of Florida when that event occurred,” he said.

Plus, the hurricanes and other incidents this year forced doctors to use more donated blood at one time than they were receiving.

Hospitals rely on more than 12,000 daily donations to meet patients’ needs.

“We need all blood types in a situation like this. It’s really critical to doctors and nurses who are on the frontlines of healthcare and to the patients who need this blood to sustain treatment or to save their lives,” McNamara said.

You can volunteer at a donation center if you want to give back but aren’t eligible to donate blood.

Just reach out to the American Red Cross.