• Sara Doan, Northeast Arkansas News

Red Cross worries decrease in blood donations could get worse


JONESBORO, Ark- Over the past several months, we’ve told you about the severe blood shortage impacting the American Red Cross. Now, the CDC is sounding the alarm, warning it would become even worse as we enter the winter months.


‘Tis the season for giving, and the American Red Cross is urging healthy adults to roll up their sleeves to donate blood. As the CDC warns donations could continue to drop, thanks to the flu.


“We’re seeing a shortage of blood on the shelves. I mean, this time of year certainly causes a concern when we talk about the drop in blood,” says John Brimley, the nonprofits Arkansas marketing and communications manager.


The CDC is predicting a possible severe flu season. Something they say we didn’t see in 2020 due to social distancing, mask-wearing, and shutdowns.


Along with seasonal illnesses and the holidays also means a possible decrease in healthy blood donors. However, the need never stops.


“So many things to where blood donations is not at the top of mind. As you continue to see the supply dip, hospitals will begin to have to make decisions about what they can do and what they can’t do,” Brimley said.


The Red Cross needs donors of all types, as just one pint of blood can save three lives.


“Platelets, plasma, type O Negative, which is the universal supply. Those are the types we’re definitely in need of,” he said.


The nonprofit first saw the shortage last summer but never had a rebound in donations, leading to some of the lowest blood supply in more than a decade for the Red Cross.


Brimley says they’re offering incentives to get people through the door.


“Between the first and the twelfth of November, if you come to give blood, there is an opportunity to win a trip for two to Hawaii. [Between] the first and the twenty-third, you can receive a ten dollar Amazon gift card via email.”


To book an appointment to donate blood, you can download the red cross blood donor app.


You can also click the link below to find a blood drive in your area.


Schedule Your Blood Donation With The Red Cross (redcrossblood.org)


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