Red Cross: Emergency blood shortage may delay medical procedures

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Donors urged to give now as nation faceslowest number of blood donors in decades

Donors have the chance to help save lives, win trip to Super Bowl LVIII

BINGHAMTON — The American Red Cross is experiencing an emergency blood shortage as the nation faces the lowest number of people giving blood in 20 years. The Red Cross blood supply has fallen to critically low levels across the country, and blood and platelet donors are urged to make a donation appointment to help alleviate the shortage and help ensure lifesaving medical procedures are not put on hold.

Over the last 20 years, the number of people donating blood to the Red Cross has fallen by about 40%. When fewer people donate blood, even small disruptions to blood donations – such as the nearly 7,000-unit shortfall in blood donations the Red Cross experienced between Christmas and New Year’s Day alone – can have a huge impact on the availability of blood products and dramatic consequences for those in need of emergency blood transfusion. Blood products are currently going to hospitals faster than blood donations are coming in, and in recent weeks, the Red Cross has had to limit distributions of type O blood products – among the most transfused blood types – to hospitals.

“Small changes in blood donor turnout can have a huge impact on the availability of blood products and dramatic consequences for those in need of an emergency blood transfusion,” said Dr. Eric Gehrie, executive physician director for the Red Cross. “More challenges may lie ahead as the potential for severe winter weather and seasonal illness may compound the dire blood supply situation. Donors of all types – especially those with type O blood and those giving platelets – are urged to give now.”

Who donations help

Blood donations made within the Western New York region help supply all our local hospitals and the patients they serve.  For a Horseheads, NY resident, Dr. Kristina Workman, blood donations saved her life after what should have been the joyous birth of her second daughter, Eva, turned into complications that nearly cost Kristina her life. It took 33 units of blood to save Kristina’s life and ensure that she would be there to raise her daughters with her husband, Jason Harris.

“One thing that really strikes me about blood donation is that you think about saving one person or helping one person to be healthier, but really, I would have been gone,” Kristina said. “I’m very glad that I’m here. I would have been gone and everybody else would have been left with a hole and grief. I don’t know what life would have been like for my husband and my daughters.”

This National Blood Donor month especially, Kristina encourages donors to make and keep appointments in the days and weeks to come to help alleviate the shortage and ensure lifesaving medical care for patients in need.

“It is just not about the life that you are saving, it is about all of the other people that care about that person, and I hope that is a strong motivation for people to donate. It is touching a lot of lives. Every single donation has that power.”

Don’t wait – to make an appointment,download the Red Cross Blood Donor App, visit RedCrossBlood.org or call 1-800-RED CROSS (1-800-733-2767).

The Red Cross and the National Football League (NFL) are partnering this January, during National Blood Donor Month, to urge individuals to give blood or platelets and help tackle the emergency blood shortage. Those who come to give blood, platelets or plasma in January will automatically be entered for a chance to win a trip for two to Super Bowl LVIII in Las Vegas. For details, visit RedCrossBlood.org/Super Bowl.

Upcoming blood donation opportunities Jan. 9-31:

Broome

Binghamton

1/11/2024: 1 p.m. – 6 p.m., Chenango Bridge UMC, 740 River Rd

1/13/2024: 9 a.m. – 2 p.m., Boulevard United Methodist Church, 113 Grand Boulevard

1/24/2024: 11:30 a.m. – 4:30 p.m., Hinman Dining Center, 4400 Vestal Pkwy E

1/30/2024: 9:30 a.m. – 2:30 p.m., UHS Binghamton General Hospital, 10-42 Mitchell Avenue

1/30/2024: 11:30 a.m. – 4:30 p.m., Hinman Dining Center, 4400 Vestal Pkwy E

1/31/2024: 11:30 a.m. – 4:30 p.m., Hinman Dining Center, 4400 Vestal Pkwy E

Endicott

1/13/2024: 9 a.m. – 2 p.m., Our Lady of Good Counsel Church, 701 W Main Street

Johnson City

1/12/2024: 10:30 a.m. – 2:30 p.m., American Red Cross, 365 Harry L Drive

Whitney Point

1/26/2024: 2 p.m. – 7 p.m., Whitney Point United Methodist Church, 7311 Collins St.

Windsor

1/19/2024: 1:30 p.m. – 5:30 p.m., Our Lady of Lourdes Roman Catholic Church, 594 Kent Street

Chenango

Greene

1/17/2024: 12:30 p.m. – 5:30 p.m., Church of the Immaculate Conception, 1180 State Highway 206

Norwich

1/19/2024: 12:30 p.m. – 5:30 p.m., Broad Street Methodist Church, 74 North Broad Street

1/30/2024: 11:30 a.m. – 4:30 p.m., Chenango Memorial Hospital, 178 N. Broad Street

Sherburne

1/24/2024: 11:30 a.m. – 4:30 p.m., Sherburne Fire Department, 15 W. State St.

Cortland

Cortland

1/11/2024: 1 p.m. – 6 p.m., Port Watson Mini Conference Center, 131 Port Watson Street

1/18/2024: 10 a.m. – 3 p.m., Guthrie Cortland Medical Center, 134 Homer Ave

1/20/2024: 8 a.m. – 1 p.m., St Mary’s Church, 44 North Main St

Homer

1/30/2024: 1 p.m. – 6 p.m., CNY Living History Museum, 4386 US Route 11

McGraw

1/9/2024: 11:30 a.m. – 4:30 p.m., McGraw Community Building, 15 Clinton Street

Tioga

Apalachin

1/26/2024: 1 p.m. – 6 p.m., Apalachin United Methodist Church, 303 Pennsylvania Avenue

Candor

1/10/2024: 1 p.m. – 6 p.m., Candor Emergency Medical Services, 58 Main Street

Tioga Center

1/11/2024: 1 p.m. – 6 p.m., Tioga Center Baptist Church, 99 Halsey Valley Road

Waverly

1/25/2024: 1:30 p.m. – 6:30 p.m., Waverly United Methodist Church, 158 Chemung Street

Tompkins

Dryden

1/16/2024: 11 a.m. – 4 p.m., Dryden Veterans Mem Home, 2272 Dryden Road

1/24/2024: 12 p.m. – 5 p.m., Dryden Fire Department, 26 North Street

Groton

1/17/2024: 3 p.m. – 7 p.m., Groton American Legion, 307 Main Street

Ithaca

1/9/2024: 10 a.m. – 3 p.m., Tompkins County Library, 101 E Green Street

1/12/2024: 10 a.m. – 3 p.m., Foundation of Light, 391 Turkey Hill Road

1/16/2024: 1:30 p.m. – 6:30 p.m., Enfield Fire Department, 172 Enfield Main Rd

1/18/2024: 10 a.m. – 3 p.m., Robert Purcell Community Center, 107 Jessup Rd

1/19/2024: 12 p.m. – 5 p.m., Danby Fire Department, 1780 Danby Road

1/23/2024: 10 a.m. – 3 p.m., First Unitarian Society of Ithaca, 306 N. Aurora Street

1/25/2024: 10 a.m. – 3 p.m., Vineyard Church of Ithaca, 23 Cinema Drive

1/26/2024: 1 p.m. – 6 p.m., Robert Purcell Community Center, 107 Jessup Rd

1/31/2024: 11:30 a.m. – 4:30 p.m., Ithaca College Campus Center, 953 Danby Rd

Susquehanna

Harford

1/16/2024: 2 p.m. – 6 p.m., Harford Volunteer Fire Company, Fair Hill Road

Montrose

1/11/2024: 1:30 p.m. – 6:30 p.m., Montrose Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 5642, Montrose VFW, 16972 STATE ROUTE 706

New Milford

1/18/2024: 1:30 p.m. – 6:30 p.m., St Mark’s Episcopal Church, 1148 Main Street