Red Cross blood shortage ongoing


courtesy of NZ Blood Service

Mary Gillon, Co-Editor in Chief

The Red Cross Association has had a critical shortage of blood donations in recent months. The association has less than their goal of five days’ worth of blood on hand as of July 2019, for every 2 seconds an American needs a blood transfusion, whether it be for cancer treatment, surgeries, traumatic injuries or chronic illnesses.

“At times, blood and platelets are being distributed to hospitals faster than donations are coming in, which impacts the ability to rebuild the blood supply,” their website says.

Blood is so desperately needed that those who donate are being rewarded with gift cards.

Although all blood type donations are imperatively needed, both O negative and positive are needed the most.

“Because it’s vitally important for hospitals to have type O blood available when every second counts, type O donors are urged to donate now and make a point to donate often,” the Red Cross website says.

Type O blood is universal, meaning that it can be used in transfusions for people with A, B, AB and O blood types, whereas A can only donate to A, B can only donate to B, and AB can only donate to AB.

One can donate blood every eight weeks. One donation, which usually supplies a pint of blood, has the potential to save up to three lives.

The Red Cross also urges people to consider donating platelets, which are a necessity for cancer patients who undergo chemotherapy. Their platelets are quickly depleted from chemo, which may make them weaker and more susceptible to illness. Platelet donations take a bit longer and are more complicated than the standard blood donation, but it is still a donation that could save someone’s life.

To register to donate, visit