The Red Cross declares a national blood crisis

William He, Reporter

For the first time ever, the Red Cross has announced a national blood crisis. On Jan. 11, the organization announced that the national blood crisis is threatening patient care and forcing doctors to make reportedly tough choices about who receives blood transfusions. Hospitals need blood for surgeries, transplants, cancer treatments and chronic illnesses, but there are days where up to one-quarter of hospitals can’t get the blood types they requested. Since the pandemic was declared in March 2020, there has been a 10% overall blood donation decline, a 34% decline in new donors and a 62% drop in college and high school blood drives. Weather conditions and staffing limitations have caused cancellations of planned blood drives as well. The Red Cross is asking donors who are at least 16 years old of all blood types, but especially Type O, to make an appointment. It is also seeking volunteers to help out at blood drives and transport blood products to hospitals. To make an appointment to give blood or platelets, visit, or call 1-800-RED-CROSS.