The following statement has been issued by AABB, America’s Blood Centers and the American Red Cross regarding the status of the nation’s blood supply:
As the blood community celebrates National Blood Donor Month this January, the nation’s blood supply remains at one of its lowest levels in recent years. In recent weeks, blood centers across the country have reported less than a one-day’s supply of blood of certain critical blood types—a dangerously low level. If the nation’s blood supply does not stabilize soon, life-saving blood may not be available for some patients when it is needed.
Today, the country confronts new challenges as COVID-19 cases surge and winter storms threaten to further disrupt the blood supply. As these concerns compound, blood centers nationwide continue to face a decline in donor turnout, blood drive cancellations, staffing challenges and donor eligibility misinformation. Yet the need for blood remains constant.
Blood components have a short shelf life and the blood supply needs to be constantly replenished. Blood can take up to three days to be tested, processed and made available for patients, so it’s the blood already on the shelves that helps save lives in an emergency. In the U.S., more than 16 million units of blood and blood products are transfused annually with more than 45,000 units needed daily.
Blood donations are needed now to avert the need to postpone potential lifesaving treatments. Some hospitals have already been forced to alter treatment for some patients or cancel some patient surgeries due to blood supply challenges.
AABB, America’s Blood Centers and the American Red Cross are joining together to urge eligible, healthy individuals to contact their local blood center and make an appointment to donate blood today. We also ask local businesses to encourage their employees, including those working remotely, to find their local blood donation center and schedule an appointment to donate throughout 2022. Doing so is essential to maintaining the stability of the nation’s blood supply, which ensures life-saving medical treatments are available for patients.
The blood community relies on the generosity of blood donors to help save lives throughout the year. Please contact one of the following organizations to find a local blood collection site and to schedule an appointment to donate:
Blood donation remains a safe way that eligible individuals can help save lives throughout the year. Individuals who have received a COVID-19 vaccine currently authorized in the U.S., including those manufactured by Johnson & Johnson, Moderna, and Pfizer, are able to donate blood and platelets as long as they are symptom-free and feeling well at the time of donation. Blood collection organizations continue to adapt their safety protocols to align with local, state and federal guidance to ensure the safest possible experience for all donors, staff and blood drive hosts.
The blood community appreciates the patience of blood donors and blood drive hosts during this tumultuous time for our nation. If a donation appointment is not immediately available or a blood drive is moved for various scheduling reasons, please schedule for the next appointment; the need for blood continues to be significant as the pandemic persists.