WASHINGTON - The American Red Cross says it’s facing a national blood crisis and this is the worst blood shortage in more than a decade.
The non-profit organization said on Tuesday that its inventory is at "crisis levels" and doctors are being forced to decide which patients receive blood transfusions and who must wait.
Blood donations are critically needed and donors of all blood types, especially type O, are urged to give in the weeks ahead.
"Winter weather across the country and the recent surge of COVID-19 cases are compounding the already-dire situation facing the blood supply," said Dr. Baia Lasky, medical director for the Red Cross. "Please, if you are eligible, make an appointment to give blood in the days and weeks ahead to ensure no patient is forced to wait for critical care."
According to the Red Cross, it had less than a one-day supply of critical blood types and has had to limit blood product distributions to hospitals.
For those interested in donating, can make an appointment to give blood as soon as possible by using the Red Cross Blood Donor App, visiting RedCrossBlood.org or calling 1-800-RED CROSS (1-800-733-2767).
The organization is also looking for volunteers to help with critical blood collections across the country. To learn more about volunteering, click here.
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