Red Cross hopes to pump in more donors to address ‘severe’ blood shortage

Local News

FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WANE) – The Red Cross is asking for the public’s help to address a “severe” blood shortage being felt across the country, including in northeast Indiana.

Blood supply is being depleted due to rising numbers of trauma cases, organ transplants and elective surgeries. According to the Red Cross, demand from trauma center is up by 10% in 2021, compared to 2019. That is more than five times the growth of other facilities that provide blood transfusions.

With many deferring surgeries last year due to the pandemic, people are now scheduling appointments which require a blood transfusion.

Donation clinics were also harder to execute last year, which put further stress on blood supply. Now that COVID-19 restrictions have been relaxed, the Red Cross’s northeast Indiana chapter is still finding donations hard to come by for different reasons.

“The weather is nice, many people are vaccinated and just out and about more, which just means some people aren’t donating blood,” said Olivia Lusher, the executive director of the Red Cross northeast Indiana chapter. “If you are vacationing, pawing around town, there is a time and a place where you can donate blood.”

How to donate

Donors of all blood types, especially type O, are urged to make an appointment to give as soon as possible to prevent further impact to patients.

Several blood donation clinics will be held throughout northeast Indiana through the end of the month. Donors can save up to 15 minutes at the blood drive by completing a RapidPass on the Red Cross website or the Red Cross Blood Donor app.

In most cases, those who have received a COVID-19 vaccine can donate. Donors should know the name of the manufacturer of the vaccine they received to determine eligibility.

As a thank-you, donors will receive a $5 gift card from Amazon.

To donate at an upcoming blood drive throughout northeast Indiana, visit the Red Cross Blood Services website.

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