American Red Cross looks for donations as supplies reach extreme low

Local News

BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB) — The American Red Cross is hitting extreme lows when it comes to emergency blood supply on hand.

“Right now on the shelves, some of the blood we do have is a day to two day’s supply – nationally, not just locally – and what we typically look for is a five-day supply,” said Red Cross District Manager Michael Wolter. “It’s the lowest we’ve been in ten years. In the past decade, we’ve seen a lot of things change, and obviously, in the past two years COVID has been the most dramatic on our blood supply.”

Compared to last year when we saw fewer flu cases across the U.S., the CDC is now warning this year’s flu season may be severe. Wolter said this will lead to more people home and sick who might normally be out giving blood.

“That’s going to reduce even further the number of people we’re going to have out to donate,” he said. “That shortage of donors we have coming in is a direct impact on the patients in the hospitals supported across the country.”

This is why the Red Cross is asking for donations, especially head of flu and cold season.

“The need is constant and we need to ensure the shelves are full for when those needs arise,” Wolter said.

There are different ways to donate. Anyone interested can call 1-800-RED-CROSS, or go to the Red Cross’ website to sign up for a blood drive that’s already scheduled. You can also sponsor a blood drive in your community.

From now until November 23, anyone who donates with receives an Amazon gift card.

Marlee Tuskes is a reporter who has been part of the News 4 team since 2019. See more of her work here.

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