Red Cross Says Need For Blood In The Region Is Urgent

Supplies are down to less than a day.

Frederick, Md (KM) There’s a less than one-day supply of blood in the region and the country, according to the American Red Cross. Kurt Luthye, the Executive Director of the Red Cross Chapter for Montgomery, Howard and Frederick Counties, says there’s a need for the O blood types, but people with all blood types are welcome to give.

“We do prefer to have a much more robust supply on the shell so that we can meet the nationwide demand,” he says. “So right now we are so slim that we have this emergency appeal.”

Luthye says this shortage is due in part to the COVID-19 pandemic. “The public has been incredibly generous throughout the COVID pandemic,” he says. “We actually saw a decrease of about 10% in August as the delta variant caused cases to spike. So that has actually led to some of the shortages we’re experiencing now.”

For anyone who is  concerned about giving blood, Luthye says each Red Cross Blood Center takes all of the precautions to reduce the spread of COVID-19. “Everybody has to wear a mask. We’re disinfecting blood We are keeping people at a distance. All of those regular protocols for the COVID pandemic in general.  . So we’re following those in addition to any local guidance,’ he says.

Anyone who wants to give blood can make an appointment by calling 1-800-RED-CROSS(733-2767)., or go on line to “It is the best way that you can do over and against being a walk-in donor, which we do still accept,” he says.

The Red Cross is running a sickle cell disease initiative. That’s where donors can designate their blood be used for patients who are suffering from sickle cell disease. “Right now in the US, over 100,000 people, a majority of whom are African-Americans, have the sickle cell disease, and many of those require regular blood transfusions throughout their life to manage pain,”: says Luthye

The Frederick Red Cross Blood Donor Center is located 141 Thomas Johnson Drive.

By Kevin McManus