“It’s Really A Dire Situation” Red Cross Facing Worst Blood Shortage In Over Ten Years

The meeting for the Broken Bow City Council was fairly uneventful regarding city business on Tuesday, November 23, but one of the most important topics was about blood drives. Nicole Johnk, District Manager for Donor Recruitment for west and central Nebraska, spoke to the council about the emergency blood shortage facing the Red Cross. Johnk stated the current supply is the lowest it has been in the past decade.

“We only call because we need you that much,” said Johnk. “If we didn’t call you that means that the blood supply is great and all is good, but right now it’s really a dire situation.”

Normally in the fall donor numbers are up with different organizations holding blood drives and while the drives are still happening, donor turnout is also the lowest it has been in over ten years. Johnk said there is currently less than half-a-day supply of blood, where they typically look to have a five-day supply available.

Blood product distributions to hospitals have remained strong, significantly outpacing blood donations in recent weeks. The Red Cross needs to collect 10,000 additional blood products each week over the next month to overcome the current shortage and meet the needs of patients in hospitals across the country.

Johnk said the Broken Bow and surrounding area donated an impressive 800 units between November 1, 2020 and October 31, 2021, impacting 2,400 people.

“I can’t think of a better gift to give a family, than the gift of life,” said Johnk.

Upcoming blood drives:

Broken Bow Municipal Building
Tuesday, November 30
1-6 PM

Broken Bow Municipal Building
Wednesday, December 8
8:30 AM – 2:30 PM

Those who are eligible are urged to share their good health – please schedule an appointment to give blood or platelets as soon as possible by using the Red Cross Blood Donor App, visiting RedCrossBlood.org or calling 1-800-RED CROSS (1-800-733-2767). All blood types are needed.

The Council also approved the sale of the 1978 Ford Smeal 75-foot ladder truck for no less than $5,000, canceled the December 28 City Council meeting, and approved the bills that normally would have been paid during the December 28 meeting.

Broken Bow City Offices will be closed November 25-26 in observance of Thanksgiving.

The next City Council meeting will be held on Tuesday, December 14 at 6 PM.