Blood banks plead for donors

About two weeks after the American Red Cross issued a warning about a severe flu season hindering blood supply, multiple states are facing critical shortages. 

"Blood [is] the lifeblood of our hospital system," Carson Cunningham, a spokesperson for the Oklahoma Blood Institute, told CBS affiliate station KWTV-DT.  

The institute, which provides more than 90 percent of the blood supply to the state, is short hundreds of units of O-negative blood because of supply issues. In Hawaii, the state's blood bank is down to a one-day supply of O-negative, O-positive and A-positive blood. 

The Blood Bank of Hawaii is seeing half of its normal number of blood donors, which the nonprofit's director of donor services told Hawaii News Now is because of the holiday season. At the same time, the state is facing a record number of hospitalizations.

"We usually have a capacity of about 30 donors per day, 30 to 40 on a great day," Fred McFadden told Hawaii News Now. "Today, we have 16 appointments, far less than we would like to see at this location" in Honolulu. 

At times, the shortage is worse in Northwest Georgia, where blood donation center Blood Assurance sometimes only has half a day's supply of some blood types. Its spokesperson Max Winitz told Rome News-Tribune the organization has seen "a significant drop" since 2020. 

"It's at a very critical state," Mr. Winitz said.

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