Make an appointment to give blood

Published 6:46 pm Friday, February 4, 2022

If you are eligible to give blood, we urge you to make a blood donation appointment soon.

The Red Cross is experiencing the worst blood shortage in over a decade. The dangerously low blood supply levels have forced some hospitals to defer patients from major surgery, including organ transplants, according to the American Red Cross.

Why is the blood supply so low? Well, according to the Red Cross, there are several reasons. There has been a 10% decline in the overall blood donations since March 2020. That’s due to fewer blood drives at colleges and high schools, which typically bring in about 25% of donations. Ongoing blood drive cancellations are happening due to illness, staffing limitations and even weather-related closures. A surge of COVID-19 cases as well as an active flu season have compounded the bad situation.

The Red Cross, which supplies 40% of the nation’s blood supply, has had to limit blood product distributions to hospitals as a result of the shortage. In fact, some hospitals may not receive 1 in 4 blood products they need, the Red Cross stated on its website

Blood cannot be manufactured or stockpiled, and can only be made available through the kindness of volunteer donors. In recent weeks, there has been less than a one-day supply of critical blood types.

A blood drive is set for the Isle of Wight Ruritan Clubhouse at 17011 Courthouse Highway from 1 to 5 p.m. Feb. 15.

If you feel like taking a bit of a drive to check out a beautiful spot in Surry County, there’s also one coming up from noon to 5 p.m. Feb. 15 at the Hampton Roads Vineyard & Winery, 6074 New Design Road in Surry.

If those dates and locations don’t work for you, you can always visit redcrossblood.org to find more blood drives and information about how you can sign up.

The Red Cross also urges those willing and able to donate more often to please consider booking additional appointments further out due to the fact that while availability of drives may be impacted, the need for blood remains constant.