Blood supply is extremely low, Red Cross encourages everyone eligible to donate

Virginia News

NORFOLK, Va. (WAVY) — The American Red Cross is experiencing an emergency blood and platelet shortage.

Right now, the blood supply is the lowest it’s been since 2015 for this time of year. Typically, fall is the time the blood supply rebounds after summer vacations end and people settle back into a routine.

As COVID-19 cases spiked in August, the Red Cross reports blood donations took a dive, decreasing by 10 percent.

Officials told WFXR’s sister station, WAVY, they are running low on all blood types, but especially O. That is the most needed because everyone can receive it. Recently, it has been down to less than a half-day supply.

In order to recover, the Red Cross says it needs 10,000 additional donations each week for the next month.

“It’s critical for us to get donations right now just so we can keep our hospitals supplied with that crucial blood,” Executive Director Katie Niehoff said.

Niehoff knows from personal experience how quickly and unexpectedly a person can come into the need for a blood donation. When her son AJ was born six years ago, she lost her body’s volume of blood.

“So, from that point on, we’ve made it our family’s mission to spread awareness for the need of blood donors. Because without 14 strangers who rolled up their sleeves for me, we wouldn’t be here and we wouldn’t be a family,” she told WFXR’s sister station.

She never imagined that could happen to her, the same way people don’t expect to be in an accident or receive a medical diagnosis requiring immediate surgery.

That’s why the Red Cross is pleading for donors and reminding the public they are wearing masks and social distancing to make donation drives safe.

You can find blood drives by calling 1-800-RED-CROSS or visiting their website or app.

As a thank-you, all who donate through Thursday, Sept. 30 will receive a football-inspired Red Cross T-shirt, while supplies last, and a free haircut coupon from Sport Clips. In October, donors will receive a free Zaxby’s Signature Sandwich or get a $5 e-gift card to a merchant of their choice.

For breaking news delivered to you, subscribe to WFXR’s breaking news email list

Get breaking news, weather, and sports delivered to your smartphone with the WFXR News app available on Apple and Android.

Copyright 2021 Nexstar Media Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

Latest News

More News

News Tip Form