American Red Cross Facing Severe Blood Shortage Due To COVID-19

The American Red Cross is closely monitoring the outbreak of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19), and supporting public health agencies to help communities prepare. Donating blood is an essential part of ensuring community health.

Through March 17, nearly 4,000 Red Cross blood drives have been cancelled across the country due to coronavirus concerns, resulting in more than 100,000 fewer blood donations.  Some of these cancellations have occurred in Nebraska.

Organizations can safely host blood drives while adhering to social distancing measures.  By continuing to donate, Nebraskans can ensure an available blood supply for patients who need surgery, victims of car accidents and other emergencies, or patients suffering from cancer.

Right now, American Red Cross faces a severe blood shortage due to an unprecedented number of blood drive cancellations during this coronavirus outbreak. Healthy individuals are needed to schedule an appointment to give in the days and weeks ahead to help patients counting on lifesaving blood, platelets or AB Elite plasma throughout this pandemic.

Giving blood is considered an essential community service. As part of our nation’s critical infrastructure, healthy individuals can still donate in areas that have issued shelter in place declarations. The Red Cross also urges organizations to maintain scheduled blood drives. Donating is a safe process and people should not hesitate to give or receive blood or platelets. We have implemented additional precautions to ensure safety of our donors and staff.

This blood shortage could impact patients who need surgery, victims of car accidents and other emergencies, or patients fighting cancer. One of the most important things you can do to ensure we don’t have another health care crisis on top of coronavirus is to give now.

To find a blood drive in your area, search your zipcode through the American Red Cross website.