There’s a major blood shortage in the United States. A quarter of the blood centers in the Midwest have just a day’s supply or even less on hand.
“Our blood supply is at the lowest it has been this time of year in six years,” says Emily Holley, a spokesperson for the American Red Cross in Iowa, “so it’s critical right now that folks give blood.”
Many blood centers report they’re running critically low of O-negative blood. It’s the most common blood type used in emergencies when a patient’s blood type is unknown. Holley says more donations are also needed for platelets.
“Platelets often go to those battling cancer and other chronic illnesses,” she says. “It helps keep them healthy.”
Platelets are the cells in blood that form clots and stop or prevent bleeding. Cancer patients often need platelet transfusions if their bone marrow cells aren’t producing enough platelets due to chemotherapy.
(By Brian Fancher, KLMJ, Hampton)