The American Red Cross has issued an urgent plea: our hospitals are facing a severe blood shortage. Blood donors are desperately needed, not just today, but on an ongoing basis over the coming weeks.
“Right now, the supply of the sorely needed type O blood would last only a half-day.”
It takes time to process donated blood, the result is perishable, and the need never subsides. We have no artificial substitute for life-saving donated blood.
Per the Red Cross website, you can donate blood as often as every 56 days if you meet these criteria:
- You must be in good health and feeling well
- You must be at least 16 years old in most states
- You must weigh at least 110 lbs
You can donate blood after any of the COVID-19 vaccinations currently approved in the United States, usually without delay. Expect to report exactly which vaccine you were given—Moderna, Pfizer, or Johnson & Johnson—and the date of your shot.
According to the Boston Globe:
“…[N]ormally the Red Cross nationwide has a five-day supply of all types of blood — meaning that if blood collections suddenly stopped altogether, there would be enough to last five days.
Right now, the supply of the sorely needed type O blood would last only a half-day.”
If you are healthy and able, please consider donating blood in the near future. Less than 38% of Americans are eligible to donate, and only about 3% of that group does so.
A single blood donation can save as many as three lives. It’s hard to imagine a more valuable use of one hour of one’s time.