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Donations needed as blood supplies reach critical lows across the nation

As the pandemic continues, many hospitals and blood centers are facing significant blood shortages when the supply is needed most.
Published: Jan. 11, 2022 at 3:52 PM EST
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LEXINGTON, Ky. (WKYT) - As the pandemic continues, many hospitals and blood centers are facing significant blood shortages when the supply is needed most.

Both the American Red Cross and the Kentucky Blood Center say their blood supplies have been reaching critical lows, which is why it now it’s more important than ever to donate if you can.

For most blood centers, it’s safe to have at least a three to four-day supply of blood on the shelves, ready to help those in need, but, recently, most centers have only had a day supply or sometimes even less.

This means many hospitals are forced to make tough decisions about who should get blood and who has to wait until more supply comes in.

Officials say the pandemic has caused most of this low supply with a drastic lowering of new donors, staffing challenges, and because many blood drives have had to be canceled.

“Overall, blood donations are down about 10 to 15 percent over a normal non-pandemic year,” said Mandy Brajuha, vice president of external relations at Kentucky Blood Center. “So, we’re making up a little bit of ground in our donor centers, but we’re just not able to make up the loss of those units at school blood drives or businesses that aren’t back in person yet.”

At the Kentucky Blood Center, they do welcome walk-ins each day as space allows but they do encourage everyone to make an appointment online and that makes your visit and giving blood that much easier.

Blood centers say even if you don’t know your blood type, that’s OK, as all types are needed.

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