The American Red Cross is currently grappling with a significant national blood shortage, and they are reaching out to the public for immediate assistance. This shortage is affecting donors of all blood types, but the need for type O blood donors is particularly pressing.

National Decline

The challenge began during the late summer when the Red Cross's national blood supply declined by approximately 25%. This drop occurred in the wake of one of the busiest travel seasons and the start of back-to-school activities. However, as people have settled back into their fall routines, a unique challenge to the blood supply remains.

Blood Drives are Down

Many employees continue to work from home or in a hybrid capacity, which has reduced the number of opportunities to give blood at business-sponsored blood drives. To put it in perspective, before the COVID-19 pandemic, more than 800,000 blood donations were made at blood drives hosted by businesses. In the previous year, the Red Cross witnessed only about 500,000 blood donations at these locations, marking a nearly 40% decrease from pre-pandemic levels.

WGBF-FM logo
Get our free mobile app

This situation, coupled with an active disaster season, has created a challenging scenario, jeopardizing the organization's ability to collect a sufficient amount of blood products to meet the needs of hospitals across the country.

attachment-donate blood

How You Can Help

The American Red Cross provides community blood drives and donation centers across the Indiana Region. If you have previously donated at a local business blood drive, it is strongly encouraged that you book a time to give at one of these locations. You can conveniently schedule your donation by downloading the Red Cross Blood Donor App, visiting, or calling 1-800-RED CROSS (1-800-733-2767).

Know Before You Go

When you go to donate, make sure to bring a blood donor card, driver's license, or two other forms of identification with you for check-in. To be eligible for donation, individuals must be 17 years of age in most states (16 with parental consent where allowed by state law), weigh at least 110 pounds, and be in generally good health. High school students and other donors 18 years of age and younger also have to meet certain height and weight requirements.

Make a Difference

Your blood donation can make a vital difference, especially during this critical time when the American Red Cross is facing a significant blood shortage. By giving blood, you can help save lives and ensure that hospitals have the necessary blood products to care for patients. The need is urgent, and your contribution can truly make an impact. Join in the effort to replenish the national blood supply and support your community's health and well-being.

LOOK: The most expensive weather and climate disasters in recent decades

Stacker ranked the most expensive climate disasters by the billions since 1980 by the total cost of all damages, adjusted for inflation, based on 2021 data from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). The list starts with Hurricane Sally, which caused $7.3 billion in damages in 2020, and ends with a devastating 2005 hurricane that caused $170 billion in damage and killed at least 1,833 people. Keep reading to discover the 50 of the most expensive climate disasters in recent decades in the U.S.

Gallery Credit: KATELYN LEBOFF

More From WGBF-FM