TOPEKA (KSNT)– The Red Cross announced for the first time in their history that they are currently in a national blood crisis.
Spokesperson Matt Trotter says that they started to see a decrease in blood donations because of the pandemic because many blood drives were getting canceled. There was nowhere to host them anymore as people began working from home and schools went online.
As well as the pandemic, the winter season is already a slow time for blood donations as is.
“We always get fewer donors around the holidays, and in winter, and in the flu season. Those are things we always expect to push down our donor turnout. But now, we also have COVID on top of it,” Trotter said.
Even though the Red Cross made this announcement, they are not the only organization experiencing these shortages. Locally, the Community Blood Center in Topeka says that they are also experiencing issues. Their Outreach Coordinator Chelsey Smith says that you never expect to need a blood transfusion, but it can happen at any time to anyone, and not having any blood to provide can be a serious problem.
“It means that it might take a little longer for blood to make it to a hospital it could also mean that if a trauma patient comes in that there is no blood readily available for them,” Smith said.
Officials for both of these organizations encourage people to schedule an appointment whenever they can to give blood. For people who can’t donate blood, they encourage them to get involved and help out by volunteering, as they are also experiencing staffing issues at many locations.