As Wisconsin hospitals battle record-setting surges in COVID-19 hospitalizations, they are simultaneously contending with yet another crisis: a shortage of blood.
There has been a 10% decline in blood donation since March 2020, and a 62% drop in college and high school blood drives due to the pandemic, which made up about up 25% of all donors in 2019, according to the American Red Cross’s website. The American Red Cross provides about 40% of the United States blood supply.
This scenario has forced hospitals to tightly monitor blood use in the event blood supplies drop off, according to UW Health.
America’s Blood Centers, the American Red Cross and the Association for the Advancement of Blood and Biotherapies released a joint statement last week calling attention to the nation’s “dangerously low” blood supply and urging people to donate.
According to the American Red Cross, all blood types are needed, but Type O-positive, Type O-negative and platelets are of the most need. You do not need to be vaccinated against COVID-19 to donate blood. If you are vaccinated, donors should know the name of their vaccine’s manufacturer when they come to donate.
To find a place to donate near you, visit the American Red Cross website.