TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) — The national blood supply has reached critically low levels, the American Red Cross announced Monday.
The organization is in urgent need of blood donations “in (the) wake of back-to-back climate disasters,” the Red Cross wrote in a news release.
According to the Red Cross, its national blood supply levels have dropped nearly 25% since August. This could threaten the care of patients with cancer or sickle cell disease, or anyone with an emergency need for blood.
“Back-to-back months of worsening climate-driven disasters have further strained the blood supply, resulting in blood drive cancelations and reducing much needed blood and platelet donations in affected areas,” the release stated.
Hurricane Idalia caused more than 700 units of blood and platelets to go uncollected, according to the Red Cross. This exacerbated the 30,000-unit shortfall caused by low donor turnout in August.
“For so many patients living with urgent medical care needs, crises don’t stop with natural disasters,” said Dr. Pampee Young, chief medical officer for the American Red Cross. “In fact, in some instances, the stress of a disaster can lead to a medical crisis for some individuals battling sickle cell disease.”
Donors of all blood types are urgently needed, and there is an emergency need for platelet donors and type O blood donors, according to the Red Cross. To make an appointment to give blood or platelets, donors can use the Red Cross Blood App, visit RedCrossBlood.org or call 1-800-RED CROSS (1-800-733-2767).