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Nationwide blood shortage felt in hospitals and blood banks

Published: Mar. 1, 2021 at 8:10 PM EST
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(WITN) - The COVID-19 pandemic has set society back in so many ways, and that includes the nation’s blood supply.

Nationwide, blood shortages are expected after the holidays – it’s part of the reason every January is National Blood Donor Month. But this year, health leaders particularly severe as we face another COVID-19 surge.

There’s a nationwide shortage of blood, and the situation is now dire in some places.

Over the last year, employees with organizations that collect blood say those willing to donate have drastically declined.

Dr. Kip Kuttner with Miller Keystone Blood Bank said, “We would go to large corporations to collect donors that’s no longer happening because of work from home we would also collect from high schools and colleges too.”

The pandemic has also reduced access to donors, and many blood drive events have been canceled across the country.

“We’re sending out more plasma for those patients than what we have coming in,” said Dr. Ross Herron, a chief medical officer with the American Red Cross.

Herron said blood types across the board are needed, but plasma from those who have recovered from COVID-19, even more so.

Hospital leaders say they need a certain amount of blood to treat cancer patients, elective surgeries, and have on hand in case of emergencies, and some places are not getting the supply they need to send to hospitals.

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