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National blood crisis could be dangerous for patients

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PORTLAND, Ore. — Blood and platelet donations are critically needed to help prevent further delays in vital medical treatments, and donors of all blood types, especially type O, are urged to make an appointment now to give, in the weeks ahead.

A big contributing factor to this is shortage, is the pandemic. The American Red Cross says there is about a 10 percent overall decline in the number of people donating blood because of Covid-19.

"We now had to prioritize our limited supply for those who need it most such as those who are actively bleeding, having chest pain, undergoing emergent surgeries or his blood counts are so low that they're in really dire straits," says Rachel Cook, OHSU Medical Director of Inpatient Bone Marrow Transplant Unit. 

Only 3 percent of people eligible to give blood actually do, hospitals saying that they were short blood supply before the pandemic, and now its causing patients to not get the help they need.

"I can't imagine the distress patients must feel when told their surgery or procedure has been postponed. It's heartbreaking. People often ask me what they can do for their loved ones who are going through terrible illnesses, how they can help? And I can say donate blood, said Cook."

Asante Rouge Regional says that all three Asante blood banks have an adequate inventory. But The American Red Cross notified Asante that it is reducing the amount of A and B blood cells that the hospitals can order daily. This is just one instance of the dire shortage across the nation.

"Here in the state of Oregon and Washington, we average about 35 blood drives a day and collect between 500 to 700 units of blood. To give you an idea of, of how critical of a situation that we find ourselves in right now, , The Red Cross has experienced a 10% decline in blood donations during this pandemic." says Angle Montes,Red Cross Regional Donor Services Executive.

The American Red Cross and the NFL are partnering this January, during National Blood Donor Month, to invite football fans and blood donors to join a lifesaving team and score big for patients in need.

The winner and guest will have the exciting opportunity to experience the first Super Bowl in SoFi Stadium! Click here for more information. 

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