By Gabriela Godinez Feregrino
A notice on the American Red Cross website reads “This is serious. The Red Cross is experiencing the worst blood shortage in over a decade. The dangerously low blood supply levels have forced some hospitals to defer patients from major surgery, including organ transplants.”
According to Cleveland 19 News, early in 2021, there was a resurgence of elective surgeries as the pandemic waned in the United States. Vaccines becoming more readily available meant more people were comfortable leaving their homes. However, the Delta and Omicron variants have dangerously slowed donations. The Community Blood Center (CBC) based in Dayton, Ohio services a 15 county area including Butler and Warren County.
The Springfield News-Sun reported the CDC has “less than a four-day supply.” The CBC website has a notice that they are in “critical need for O-, O+, and B- red blood cell donations and platelets from all blood types.” To add to the pandemic complications, it is common that donations slow down during the holidays and generally in winter.
It is important that our local blood banks stay stocked up for scheduled surgical needs, but also for accidents and natural disasters that occur without notice. Luckily, according to Dayton Daily News, the CBC was able to help our Kentucky neighbors with emergency donations after they were hit with the surprise tornadoes in December. This Blood Donor Awareness Month (January) consider donating. If you are outside of the Hamilton County area, consider donating to the CBC or the American Red Cross.
If you are in Cincinnati proper, another option for donation is Hoxworth Blood Center. According to their 2020 community report, Hoxworth Blood Center “is the only blood center in the Greater Cincinnati area,” and distributes “blood and blood components to more than 30 area hospitals and medical facilities.”
They have been calling and texting past donors as recently as January 5th, 2021 with messages of an immediate need for blood and red cell donations, particularly type O. Type O- blood is a universal donor and is frequently used in emergency cases. Type O+ is the most common blood type and, according to the Red Cross, is compatible with all positive blood types. Whatever your blood type, this shortage will only be remedied with your donation. Search for a blood drive in your area today.