Blood donation shortage puts patients at risk

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COLUMBUS Ga. (WRBL) – The ongoing pandemic has affected the supply of several things in our nation. One of the most crucial supplies being blood for transfusions.

The American Red Cross is experiencing it greatest blood shortage in 15 years.  The goal is currently to get 10,000 units of blood per week to meet demand.

Dr. Baia Lasky, the Georgia Medical Director for the American Red Cross, is concerned for the patients this will affect.

“Our concern it that hospitals will not have blood for patients who need it,” says Lasky. “Hospitals may choose to delay surgeries or procedures due to the blood shortage or worst-case scenario they don’t have the blood for the emergencies. There are a variety of patients who require blood products.”

Cancer patients undergoing specific types of therapy, and people with some types of sickle cell both require blood daily to survive.

Dr. Lasky says this blood shortage is exacerbated by the pandemic which has put stress on the supply chain.

“We continue to shift how we are able to collect blood and we have really relied upon the donors who have continued to donate throughout the pandemic, but unfortunately since august, really since we have seen the rise of the delta variant. Throughout the summer into the early fall our donor turnout has decreased by 10 percent. And that has had a huge impact on our ability to collect blood.”  

If you are interested in donating blood you can head to the American Red Cross website information on locations and appointment availability.

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