Blood Supply Is Critically Low, Some Types Completely Out

Thursday, October 22, 2020

The blood supply across the nation is critically low and most of the country’s blood centers are reporting extreme declines in blood donations. While the COVID-19 pandemic continues across the nation and within the community, AABB and ABC (America’s Blood Centers) are joining with Blood Assurance to urge eligible donors to make and keep an appointment to give blood now.

Blood Assurance currently has zero units of B- on the shelf, less than half a day of O+, O-, B+, and AB-, and only one day of A+ and A-. It is currently in need of every single blood type except for AB+. It is also in need of platelets.

Since COVID-19 began to take hold across the country, Blood Assurance has experienced a long period of critical need and a diminished blood supply. Many organizational partners have not allowed Blood Assurance in for blood drives due to COVID-19 and fewer donors are coming in every day. However, many other aspects of life have returned to normal including the resuming of regularly scheduled surgeries and an increase of trauma incidents due to an uptick in travel. 

The winter season will begin soon and this brings a series of challenges for blood centers as more people in the winter contract illnesses and generally donate less. The holiday season also compounds issues with collections and it is critical that members of the community donate during the winter months. Historically, donations decline during the months of November December and January. Declining donations during this season would have an even more detrimental impact than in years past.

Blood donors are needed now to help maintain the adequacy of the blood supply and to ensure that blood is available. Blood products have a short shelf life and the supply must constantly be replenished. Blood donors are needed now and will continue to be needed throughout the rest of the year and through the winter season to ensure patients continue to have access to blood products they depend on. 

Blood Assurance officials said it is grateful to the heroic volunteers who selflessly give blood during this pandemic. While there are many uncertainties about the months ahead, one thing that remains constant is the need for blood. Blood Assurance adheres to the highest standards of safety and infection control, and donors are needed to help save lives.

AABB, ABC and Blood Assurance are asking all eligible blood donors to make an appointment today and to give consistently throughout the year. If everyone who gave blood once a year gave twice a year, there would never be a blood shortage. Please schedule an appointment with Blood Assurance to help community patients in need by visiting bloodassurance.org/schedule, texting BAGIVE to 999777 or by calling 800-962-0628. 



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