Red Cross sees ‘severe’ blood shortages nationwide


CHARLESTON, WV (WOWK) — Many people are traveling this summer and may not be thinking about going to community blood drives. But according to the Red Cross, blood donations have reached a critical low. The Red Cross says nationwide, someone needs a unit of blood every 2 to 3 seconds.

“I think I started the first time right after I started working here in Charleston about 25 years ago,” said Erica Baumgras. She is a long-time donor and an advocate for blood donation. She makes it a point to give whenever she can. Right now people like her are needed more than ever.

“I know over the years there have been times when there is critical need and I’ve tried to find a place I can go donate and give blood,” she said.

According to the Red Cross, nationally the situation is serious.

“It means that you may not be treated. I mean it is a very serious situation,” said Regina Booth Bratton, Regional Communications Manager for the Red Cross.

As many COVID-19 restrictions are eased the amount of blood needed has increased.

“Now that these elective surgeries are back on the books, transplant operations are back on the books that has depleted the blood supply nationwide,” Bratton said.

That is why the Red Cross is hoping more people will take a short break from their summer plans and give a potentially life-saving donation.

“We need all of you to come out,” Bratton said. “Anyone who is eligible come out and donate blood.”

If you would like to donate blood you can click here to find a drive near you.

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