The nation’s blood supply is critically low, prompting the Red Cross to declare the first-ever national blood crisis.
According to the Red Cross, the COVID-19 epidemic has resulted in a drop in donor turnout, the cancellation of blood drives, and staffing issues, resulting in the biggest blood shortage in more than a decade. The Red Cross saw a 34% decrease in new donors last year.
“Life-saving blood may not be accessible for some patients when it is required if the nation’s blood supply does not stabilise soon,” it cautioned in a joint statement with America’s Blood Centers and the Association for the Advancement of Blood and Biotherapies.
Some blood types have been reported to have less than a one-day supply at blood facilities across the United States, according to the statement.
Hospitals require blood for operations, transplants, cancer treatments, and chronic illnesses, but the Red Cross claims it is unable to provide all of the blood products requested by hospitals on some days due to the historic shortage. Due to the shortage, doctors are being forced to make difficult judgments about who should receive blood and who should wait until more is available.
There should be no need for an 11-year-old to be concerned about the nation’s blood supply. Dreylan Holmes, on the other hand, suffers from sickle cell disease and requires blood transfusions.
“Sometimes I can’t do things when I’m hurting,” Holmes said of how the sickness affects him. “Sometimes I can’t get out of bed.”
That happened to him right before Thanksgiving. Holmes was critically anaemic and required a transfusion, but due to a shortage of blood at the hospital, he had to wait two days.
“Having to wait when I was in pain didn’t feel nice,” he said.
Vesha Jamison, his mother, described the wait as “extremely scary.”
“That was the first time we didn’t know when the blood was going to come,” Jamison explained.
The medical director of the Vanderbilt University Medical Center blood bank, Dr. Jennifer Andrews, said the hospital’s blood supply is critical. According to Andrews, a decreased blood supply means the hospital can’t provide the same level of care to patients.
“Nobody expects to be the next trauma patient when they wake up. As a result, this could have a direct impact on you, your family, and your loved ones “she stated
Those who are considering donating blood should do so, according to Holmes.
“You should help other people like me,” he urged, “so that we can feel better.”