Blood Donations Needed for National Supply Shortage

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National Blood Shortage

The American Red Cross is facing a critical, nationwide blood supply shortage.

One look around a donation center will prove it.

The Cause

And the main reason for that is summer – a historically low time for blood donations.

“Summer is dry because let’s face it it’s nice out, especially here in Chicago. We had a very long winter,” said Holly Seese, the Marketing Lead for Vitalant in Illinois. “So they want to be outside doing things and the last thing they think of is coming inside to donate blood. We want to make it the first thing they think of.”

Vitalant also finds that longtime donors are trailing off.

“Many of our historic donors are older,” said Seese. “So they’re aging out. They can no longer donate for a variety of reasons. We need a lot more younger people to donate.”

Rewards for Donating

One way they’re encouraging those donations is with a $10 gift card for every donation given.

“Every two seconds somebody needs blood in the U.S.” she added. “It’s important that everybody come and donate blood because blood also has a shelf life. So without you donating blood there isn’t blood on the shelves tomorrow when it’s needed.”

Platelet and plasma are needed as well.

What They’re Used For

These critical donations are helpful for more than just emergencies.

They’re also used in instances like transfusions, chemotherapy, anemia, and sickle cell disease.

Last year, blood centers like Lifesource united with nine other brands under the name Vitalant. You can learn how to sign up to donate blood at a local center on their website.

Naperville News 17’s Christine Lena reports.