There’s a national blood shortage. This is what you can do to help.
One unexpected side effect of the COVID-19 pandemic is an urgent shortage of blood donations nationwide, a problem recently described as “severe.”
Giving has declined across the country since the pandemic began, at a time when use is up as much as 10%. Blood donation leader Versiti reports its donations are down 40%
“Blood donation significantly impacts our patient care, including surgeries, cancer treatments and traumatic injuries,” said Advocate Aurora Health Chief Medical Officer Dr. Gary Stuck. “That’s why we’re encouraging both our team members and members of the public to donate blood now—and regularly going forward.”
The summer season often brings an increased need for people to give blood.
For one thing, schools are closed, so high school blood drives that often can help the supply aren’t happening. And for another, summer can bring a lot of accidents that require blood transfusions.
Blood suppliers have taken additional precautions due to the pandemic, like spacing out appointments and requiring masks.
So what can you do? Versiti has blood donation sites throughout Illinois and Wisconsin. To give, you can go to www.versiti.org, click on “ways to give” and select the state where you live to find Versiti locations and local community drives near you.
About the Author
Mike Riopell, health enews contributor, is a media relations coordinator with Advocate Aurora Health. He previously worked as a reporter and editor covering politics and government for the Chicago Tribune, Daily Herald and Bloomington Pantagraph, among others. He enjoys bicycles, home repair, flannel shirts and being outside.