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US Blood Supply at Dangerously Low Levels: Red Cross - medtigo

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US Blood Supply at Dangerously Low Levels: Red Cross

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The American Red Cross announced Tuesday that blood donations are urgently needed as the country’s blood supply sinks to one of its lowest levels in over a decade.

In recent weeks, blood centers around the country have reported “dangerously low levels” of certain vital blood types, implying that lifesaving blood may not be available for some patients when they need it.

Kristen Mill of Spring Grove, Illinois, has been there before.

Her body hasn’t produced enough hemoglobin to carry oxygen in her blood since a tick bit her in 2008. She needs blood transfusions when her hemoglobin levels dip. However, there was no blood for her when she recently went to the hospital for a transfusion.

Mill stated in a Red Cross news release, “The hospital came to me and apologized, and they said, ‘We’re so sorry, our blood bank is depleted to the point where we don’t have anyone who matches with you.'” “It’s terrifying, especially if you don’t know if the blood will come because this is something you must survive.”

Mill has had to wait for blood before, unfortunately.

“I’ve become accustomed to having to wait two or three days for blood. My condition would deteriorate, and I’d have to be admitted to the hospital while waiting for blood. It took two to three days on average, which is a long time when you’re waiting for something that could save your life. “Mill took notice.

She has become an advocate for blood donation after firsthand witnessing the effects of a blood shortage.

“I don’t want this to happen to anyone else,” Mill expressed her concern. “The gift of life is the greatest present you can give someone. It’s fantastic and necessary to have individuals donate lifesaving blood.”

And it’s urgently required right now: Blood facilities have suffered from low donor turnout, blood drive cancellations, staffing shortages, and donor eligibility confusion. According to the Red Cross, the Association for the Advancement of Blood and Biotherapies, and America’s Blood Centers, rising COVID cases and winter storms threaten to impair the nation’s blood supply severely.

“Due to blood supply issues, several hospitals have already been compelled to adjust therapy for some patients or cancel some patient surgeries,” the organizations added.

“Healthy individuals should contact their local blood center and schedule an appointment to donate blood today,” they said, and “local businesses should encourage their employees, including those working remotely, to find their local blood donation center and schedule an appointment to donate. Blood throughout 2022.”

Because blood components have a short shelf life and the blood supply must be renewed regularly, there is always a demand for blood.

“Blood can take up to three days to be analyzed, processed, and made available for patients,” according to the joint statement. “Blood currently on the shelves helps save lives in an emergency.”

In the United States, more than 16 million units of blood and blood products are transfused each year, with more than 45,000 units required daily.

People who have received one of the three COVID-19 vaccines approved in the United States — Pfizer, Moderna, or Johnson & Johnson — can donate blood and platelets as long as they are symptom-free and in good health at the time of donation.

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