The United States is experiencing a 'national crisis' of blood
The American Red Cross has declared the worst shortage of blood in recent history and has put a renewed call out for donations.
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With U.S. health services facing the worst blood shortage in more than a decade, the Red Cross officially declared a "national crisis."
"The blood supply is running so low that in some places there is less than a day's supply," the organization revealed.
We're facing a national blood crisis.— American Red Cross (@RedCross) January 11, 2022
Doctors are having to make tough choices about who receives transfusions and who has to wait. You can help by making an appointment to give at https://t.co/4JVikYXKuP or these 3 other ways. pic.twitter.com/TigqB4cVqk
According to the director of the Vanderbilt University Medical Center blood bank, Dr. Jennifer Andrews, since the beginning of last year, the number of donors has been seriously reduced, while numerous donation days had to be canceled.
Likewise, increasing the blood units available with the arrival of the new year, and a strong Winter, has become a real challenge for the authorities, who are also affected by a lack of personnel.
"Blood cannot be manufactured and there is no alternative treatment for blood transfusion. Therefore, it is crucial that people donate blood to save lives," declared the American Red Cross, inviting people en masse to donate. To achieve this goal, different companies, including the organization of the next Super Bowl, are donating products and opportunities to win tickets for important events.
According to official figures, since March 2021, blood donations have fallen by 10%, while donation campaigns, which are mostly held in schools and universities, have decreased by 62%.
With the worrying announcement from emergency centers that the blood supply is running so low that in some places there is less than a day's supply, many health professionals have been forced to decide who receives a transfusion and who does not.
Canceled surgeries and postponed treatments, as well as trauma units forced to close due to lack of blood, are some of the most dramatic consequences of the shortage.
According to Andrews, blood transfusions are one of the most common medical procedures. In their hospital, they carry out more than 70,000 in a year, so at this juncture they have been forced to assess which case is more important and take risks with patients who can wait a little longer.
The hematology specialist also emphasizes that in a treatment or procedure in which blood is needed, nothing else can be prescribed, nor is there a substitute, so the only option is to wait. The problem is, how long can a patient wait for a transfusion?