Alabama Red Cross calling for blood donors as supply gets critically low

Critical blood shortage
Published: Dec. 18, 2021 at 9:59 PM CST|Updated: Dec. 18, 2021 at 10:26 PM CST
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BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WBRC) - Officials said we are seeing the worst blood shortage in years.

Officials with the Alabama Red Cross said the need for blood was already critical, but after sending blood product to tornado victims in Kentucky this week, the need is even greater than before.

“The need for blood donors is greater now,” Alabama Red Cross spokesperson Annette Rowland said. “They sustained a lot of injuries, so we are making sure those people had what they need, but we need to also make sure that the shelves are going to continue to be stocked.”

But, she says it is still not enough blood for the victims or for Alabama’s supply.

“That means scheduling appointments not for today, not for tomorrow, but for the weeks to come,” Rowland said. “People are still gonna need it.”

Dr. Don Williamson with the Alabama Hospital Association said Alabama has about two days’ worth of blood supply on its shelves at a time and he said it will likely get lower.

“This time of year, with all the travel, there is just a more acute need than usual,” Williamson said. “The blood you donate may not only save your family’s life or your friends life, but its critically important this holiday season with so many people traveling.”

Williamson said without more blood, hospitals will have to start limiting elective surgeries that require a lot of blood.

“It gets to be a balance between elective procedures that you may need blood for versus making sure you do have some blood available for those disasters that happen,” he said.

Rowland said they need all blood types, but especially O-negative because it is universal and can be used in emergency situations.

Click here to find a donation site near you.


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