American Red Cross declares national blood shortage as omicron surges

The country is in dire straits when it comes to the nation’s blood supply.

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The American Red Cross has declared a national blood crisis for the first time in the organization’s history, CBS News reported.

Blood drives have been canceled because of the COVID-19 pandemic and fewer people are signing up to donate.

The one-two punch is leading to what the Red Cross said is the worst blood shortage in a decade.

“If the nation’s blood supply does not stabilize soon, life-saving blood may not be available for some patients when it is needed,” America’s Blood Centers and the Association for the Advancement of Blood & Biotherapies said in a joint statement, according to CBS News.

Many blood banks have less than a day’s supply of some blood types. The Red Cross said it can’t fulfill all blood requests it receives from hospitals on some says.

The Red Cross urges anyone who can donate to do so. Appointments can be made on the Red Cross Blood Donor app, on RedCrossBlood.org or call 1-800-RED-CROSS.

All blood types are needed, but O positive and O negative are needed the most, along with platelet donations, the Red Cross said in a news release.