Red Cross sees highest blood shortage in a decade

Only 38% of the U.S. population is eligible to give blood. Of that, only 3% are donating.
Published: Nov. 22, 2021 at 5:55 PM MST
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TUCSON, Ariz. (KOLD News 13) - The American Red Cross continues to face a nationwide emergency blood shortage.

In fact, the shortage is the worst the Red Cross has seen in a decade.

“Only 38% of the U.S. population is eligible to give blood. Of that, only 3% are donating,” said Red Cross of Southern AZ spokesman MaRico Tippett.

It is a nationwide problem. Here in Arizona, that problem continues.

Tippett said they always see a big drop in donors right before the holidays. But even more so this year with the pandemic.

Tippett said it is the perfect storm. We are still in the pandemic, holidays are coming up and then there are people who can give blood but do not.

“Then there are people that are just not sure donations are open again.”

But they are and the need is bigger than you might think.

“A single car accident victim can use up to 100 units of blood, that is just one,” said Tippett.

And one person can save up to three lives. There are many reason why people do not give, including if they had COVID-19.

“Here’s the big thing. If you have had COVID and you have tested negative, you can still donate blood.”

Tippett encouraged anyone who is eligible to make an appointment and donate as soon as possible.

“As we are coming up to the Thanksgiving holidays, think of what you are grateful for. Be grateful you have never needed blood. But for those who have and those who have, you have the potential to save a life,” he said.

For more information and to make an appointment, click here.

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