Red Cross says its blood supply at lowest level since 2015

The Red Cross said Sept. 27 that its blood supply is at the lowest level it's been at this time of year since 2015, as hospitals across the country face blood shortages.

Fall is usually when donations increase as blood drives come back to schools after summer break and donors are more available than during busy summer months, the Red Cross said in a news release. But, the organization said, donor turnout is at its lowest level of the year and has decreased by about 10 percent since August. 

"We recognize that this is a trying time for our country as we balance the new demands of returning to former routines with the ongoing pandemic, but lifesaving blood donations remain essential for hospitals patients in need of emergency and medical care that can’t wait," Chris Hrouda, president of Red Cross Biomedical Services, said in a news release. 

The organization said it needs to collect 10,000 additional blood products each week for the next month to overcome the current shortage and meet the needs of hospitals across the U.S. 

The Red Cross has had less than a day's supply of certain blood types in recent weeks. The supply of types O positive and O negative blood, the most needed by hospitals, dropped to less than a half-day supply at times over the last month, well below the ideal five-day supply, the organization said. There's also an emergency need for blood platelets. 

Read the Red Cross' full news release here.

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