American Red Cross declares national blood donation shortage
MEMPHIS, Tenn. (WMC) - The Red Cross is declaring a national blood shortage, calling it the worst in more than a decade.
Executive Director of the Mid-South Red Cross John Brown says the coronavirus pandemic is likely the cause of shortage.
“The confidence of the public to get out to be engaged it wanes and it can affect blood drives,” Brown said.
Pandemic troubles have even caused blood drives to be canceled altogether.
“We work with schools and we work with other agencies, and when they have employees or folks sick, then they can’t engage in a blood drive,” said Brown.
The Red Cross reports an over 30% decrease in new blood donations. But Brown wants to ensure the public the Red Cross has a network supplying blood for different parts of the country.
“We are connected just know that. But when we have instances like if we remember back to mass shootings - and we know how frequent they can be - that puts a strain on our local hospitals and requires blood immediately,” Brown said.
The NFL is even offering an incentive ahead of the Super Bowl to encourage people to donate blood.
“If you donate in the month of January, it could mean a trip to the Super Bowl. We know our Titans are in the fight. So, jump in the fight with the Titans and give blood,” said Brown.
More information on the NFL’s collaboration with the Red Cross can be found here.
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