On this World Blood Donor Day, Vitalant—which supplies donated blood to more than 900 hospitals across the U.S—announced that it has a critical blood shortage. The nonprofit organization urges all eligible donors to make an appointment now to give at any of its nearly 120 donation centers or a community drive to replenish the blood supply in the coming days and weeks.
Blood donations are down while the need has rebounded
With communities re-opening from the pandemic, travel resuming and patients seeking previously postponed medical care, Vitalant has less than a needed four-day supply of most blood types to meet patient needs at a moment’s notice. Type O blood is below a two-day supply. Type O is what’s often used in trauma situations, especially type O negative, because it can be transfused to patients with any blood type in an emergency room setting.
Blood donations fell more than 4,000 short of the need in May, while the need for blood has increased. Blood drive cancellations forced by COVID-19 challenges continue to affect donation rates. In fact, anticipated uncollected donations from business-hosted blood drive cancellations reached a four-month high of more than 6,200 blood donations in June.
“That’s why it’s so important to patient care for generous donors to make an appointment now to give in the coming days or weeks at a donation center or another community blood drive,” said Cliff Numark, Vitalant’s senior vice president of donor services and chief of marketing.
“A drop in donations over any period of time is concerning, but especially right now when the supply is already low,” said Ralph Vassallo, M.D., Vitalant’s chief medical and scientific officer. “Blood and platelet donations are needed now and throughout the summer to prevent delays in lifesaving patient care.”
First-time donors can get sneak peek of their blood type
New donors play a critical role in supporting the blood supply. Beginning today, World Blood Donor Day, first-time donors can get a glimpse at their blood type immediately* when they come to donate with Vitalant. Lab confirmation of blood type results and other useful health information is available about a week after donation in the donor’s online account.
How to Give
To learn more and schedule an appointment to donate, please visit vitalant.org or call 877-25-VITAL (877-258-4825). Those who received a Food and Drug Administration authorized COVID-19 vaccine can give blood immediately if other eligibility requirements are met.
Vitalant (“Vye-TAL-ent”) is the nation’s largest independent, nonprofit blood services provider exclusively focused on providing lifesaving blood and comprehensive transfusion medicine services for about 900 hospitals and their patients across the U.S. Every day, Vitalant needs to collect about 5,300 blood, platelet and plasma donations to help save lives. For more information and to schedule a donation appointment, visit vitalant.org or call 877-25-VITAL (877-258-4825). Follow us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.
*Nevada and Washington not included due to state restrictions.