Blood shortages delaying surgeries across US

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U.S. hospitals are being forced to postpone surgeries in the face of a national blood shortage, CBS News reported July 6. 

Some blood centers are down to a one-day supply, according to CBS News. OneBlood, the largest blood center in the Southeast U.S., told the broadcaster: "The donors are not in the traditional locations anymore. We lost large corporations, religious organizations, movie theater drives. Festivals that were taking place ended."

Before the pandemic forced schools to switch to virtual learning, schools made up 25 percent of blood collections. Demand for blood products is also now up 10 percent nationwide as pandemic restrictions ease, CBS News reported. 

Paresh Shah, MD, surgeon in chief at NYU Langone Health in New York City, told CBS News the system came close to delaying some scheduled surgeries. 

"There's this huge backlog of operations that really needed to get done," Dr. Shah said. "We were down to such a low inventory of blood that if we had one major transfusion event, we would have been depleted completely."

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