Red Cross facing "staggering" blood shortage due to elective surgeries

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Thursday, June 4, 2020
Action News coverage of the coronavirus COVID-19 outbreak

SPRING GARDEN (WPVI) -- The Red Cross is experiencing a staggering drop in blood supplies, and urgently needs donations.

The shortage is because states are opening back up.

"We've seen a demand increase now that elective surgeries are back on. So just this past week, we saw a 30% increase in demand," says regional CEO Guy Triano.

"Right now, African American blood donors are critical, critically needed to help patients handle sickle cell disease," he adds.

Sickle cell patients often fare better when transfusions come from donors of similar ethnic and racial backgrounds.

But the Red Cross needs all blood types.

It's screening all donors, spacing them out, and disinfecting surfaces frequently to prevent infections.

So appointments are necessary.

To find the nearest donation point, call 1-800-Red-Cross, or go to the blood donor website - CLICK HERE.