It says supplies are down due to a lack of donations during the holidays.
Baltimore, Md (KM) It’s an emergency; that’s how the Greater Chesapeake and Potomac Blood Services Region of the Red Cross describes the blood supply situation.
Spokeswoman Regina Boothe Bratton says the Red Cross has not recovered from disasters since September of last year. . “We had the storms in the Carolinas. We had several tragic mass shootings in the area, and nearby states. We’ve had the wildfires. So we have just been playing catch up to more than a year now,” she says.
To top that off, there were fewer blood and platelet donations during the Christmas and New Year’s holidays.
Bratton says blood supplies are dwindling, and if nothing’s done soon, some drastic steps may need to be taken. “We are trying to stave off any types of postponements of surgeries, of elective surgeries, and that’s what we’re looking at if you don’t’ get in the blood that our patients need,” she says.
Bratton says the Red Cross provides the blood that hospitals need. “In the Greater Chesapeake and Potomac Blood Services Region, we service about 100 to 105 hospitals in the area. And that includes all of Maryland, Northern Virginia and Washington DC,” she says.
Anyone who wants to give blood should be in relatively good health and weigh at least 100-pounds.
Bratton says O-Negative is an especially desired blood type. “When we are in a trauma situation, when the patient has gone into the ER, doctors do not have time to test their blood type. So they go to O-Negative. So it’s imperative that we have that on the shelves for those patients,” she says.
But Bratton says all blood types are welcome.
To schedule a blood donation, call 1-800-RED-CROSS.
By Kevin McManus