Red Cross Month has come and gone, and blood donations continue being made daily, nationwide.
During a normally fruitful time for blood donations, the spring season, including the month of March, has seen the cancellation of 735 scheduled blood drives for the region, and over 23,000 fewer donations. Nationwide, the blood shortage is an approximated 430,000 donations. That is according to Joe Zydlo, External Communciations Manager for Red Cross, who does say the blood supply, right now, while low, is also stable. That does not account for the emergency supply that is regularly kept on hand in the event of unforseeable catastrophes.
The organization has had, what Zydlo describes as ‘overwhelming support’ from donors nationwide over the course of the pandemic shutdown response. He called the situation ‘incredible’, in terms of the generosity of donations, but also stressed that current stores could only be kept full if people continue to make appointments. A lack of available venues has caused workers to scramble to find acceptable locations for blood drives, utilizing certain community buildings, retailers, and hospitals. Furthermore, due to social distancing guidelines, donations may only be taken via appointments, which can be made online, in an effort to reduce the number of donors on site at any given time.
Zydlo indicated, if appointment donations could be kept up over the next 3 to 4 weeks, red cross workers may be able to finally make gains in the face of blood shortages. However, red cross is recommending searching 14 days out or beyond to make appointments, as they continue to search for more donation sites. go to redcrossblood.org to schedule a donation.