Hospitals' demand for blood is outpacing supply, Red Cross warns

The American Red Cross declared a national blood shortage Sept. 11, saying blood and platelet supplies have fallen to "critically low levels." 

The Red Cross' blood supply has dropped nearly 25 percent since early August, prompting the organization to issue an urgent call for donations.

"Right now, blood product distributions to hospitals are outpacing the number of blood donations," the Red Cross said. The organization needs to collect about 12,500 donations every day to meet demand for the 2,500 hospitals and transfusion centers it serves nationwide.

The Red Cross saw a shortfall of about 30,000 donations in August amid a busy travel season and back-to-school activities. "Back-to-back" months of climate disasters — including Hurricane Idalia — also spurred many blood drive cancellations, the organization said.

Overall, the nonprofit supplies about 40 percent of the nation's blood supply.

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