Jan 11, 2022 - Health

Red Cross warns of "dangerously low" blood supply in U.S.

Photo of a bag of blood with labeled tubes sitting on top of it

A bag of blood sits on a table at the KFC YUM! Center during the Starts, Stripes, and Pints blood drive event on July 7, 2021, in Louisville, Ky. Photo: Jon Cherry via Getty Images

The U.S. is facing a "dangerously low" blood supply that could have devastating consequences, the Red Cross warned Monday.

Why it matters: COVID, winter storms and staffing challenges, among other things, have disrupted the nation's blood supply. In recent weeks, blood centers across the U.S. have reported less than one day's worth of blood for certain blood types, according to the Red Cross.

  • Some hospitals are already having to alter treatment or cancel some surgeries due to issues with blood supply.

What they're saying: "If the nation’s blood supply does not stabilize soon, life-saving blood may not be available for some patients when it is needed," the Red Cross said in a joint statement with America's Blood Centers and the Association for the Advancement of Blood and Biotherapies. 

  • The three organizations "urge eligible, healthy individuals to contact their local blood center and make an appointment to donate blood today."
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