The American Red Cross declares first-ever national blood crisis amid 'dire' blood shortage

MILWAUKEE (CBS 58) -- Since the pandemic began in 2020, the American Red Cross has experienced a 10 percent decline in people donating blood, and it's caused the first-ever national blood crisis

In recent weeks, blood centers across the country have reported less than a one-day’s supply of blood of certain critical blood types—a dangerously low level.

According to the American Red Cross, blood centers nationwide have faced a decline in donor turnout, blood drive cancellations, staffing challenges and donor eligibility misinformation; and it's put the US at historically low blood supply levels. Experts say doctors have been forced to make difficult decisions about who receives blood transfusions and who will need to wait until more products become available. 

As winter weather impacts people across the country, blood centers face new challenges that threaten to further disrupt the blood supply.

The Red Cross, along with America's Blood Centers and the Association for the Advancement of Blood & Biotherapies, released a joint statement urging people to roll up their sleeves and donate. 

"Blood can take up to three days to be tested, processed and made available for patients, so it’s the blood already on the shelves that helps save lives in an emergency," the statement said. 

To encourage more people to get the vaccine, the American Red Cross and the NFL have teamed up to give away two tickets to Super Bowl LVI in Los Angeles, California. Plus, those who give in January will also automatically be entered to win the Big Game at Home package to enjoy an awesome viewing experience at home. The package includes a smart, short-throw laser projector and projector screen, a sound bar, a subwoofer, a gift card for tech support with installation and a $500 e-gift card to put toward food and fun.

Those who come to give blood, platelet or plasma between Jan. 1,2022 to Jan. 31, 2022 will automatically be entered to win.


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