(WDVM) — There is a severe blood shortage, according to the American Red Cross.
Typically, the Red Cross likes to keep at least a five day supply of blood for all hospitals and medical centers in the service area, and right now, the supply is down to a half-day, which could be used by one accident victim alone.
Red Cross representatives said many factors have led to the shortage, including closures of businesses and schools during the pandemic, where blood drives are usually held. Additionally, as elective surgeries have been restarted, the need for blood has increased.
This is the largest shortage the American Red Cross has seen at this time of the year in six years. Officials are asking anyone who can to make an appointment or find a blood drive near them to donate.
Eric Anderson, the Executive Director for the American Red Cross of the Greater Shenandoah Valley said, “Even if you can not give today, being able to give in a week, a month, just get signed up and get on the schedule. That way, at least we have the assurance that the supply will be there.”
Anderson said there is also a need for Black donors, specifically, so that there is an adequate blood supply for those suffering from Sickle Cell Anemia. Donors can specify that their blood be held for this specific supply.
There will be blood drives held on Wednesday, September 29, in Hagerstown and Frederick. In Hagerstown, the drive is from 12 p.m. until 6 p.m. at the American Red Cross Blood Donation Center. In Frederick, it is being held at the Calvary United Methodist Church from 8:30 a.m. until 7:30 p.m.