Red Cross looking for community help during severe blood shortage


Red Cross officials say because of the coronavirus, it has forced blood drives to be canceled, meaning people aren't donating

(WKBN) — The American Red Cross says there is a severe blood shortage amid the COVID-19 outbreak and they need your help to solve it.

The coronavirus has forced the Red Cross to cancel almost 5,000 blood drives. Christina Gargas with the Red Cross said the shortage is severe in their nationwide network.

“It’s impacting the collection of over 170,000 units of blood for patients,” she said.

Gargas understands that many choose not to come out because they are afraid of catching the virus.

“It’s really concerning for us, the simple fact that there are patients in need of blood products. When donors are not donating, we don’t have those products to provide to our hospitals for those patients,” Gargas said.

However, she wants everyone to know Red Cross donation centers are taking the right precautions.

“Making sure all of our beds are having that social distancing at this time, in addition to wiping down all of our equipment that donors are touching.”

During this time, many may feel like they don’t have much to give, but Gargas said just one person donating can help several.

“One donation can help touch the lives of three patients. I think that’s pretty special to be able to take a little bit of time and impact the lives of three patients with your one donation,” Gargas said.

If you would like to donate blood, you can visit the American Red Cross website to make an appointment or call 1-800-Red-Cross.

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