Hospitals, Red Cross ask for blood donations amid national supply ‘crisis’

[WCCO-TV News, January 11, 2022] Local hospitals are asking Minnesotans to donate blood amid a national supply shortage that the Red Cross is calling a “crisis” not seen in more than a decade.

More than 100 hospitals in Minnesota, including Allina Health, rely on the Red Cross for its supply, and the organization provides 40% of the country’s blood reserve. The pandemic cut off many reliable access points: There are fewer blood drives at businesses, churches and schools, which alone have decreased by more than half.

Dr. Lauren Anthony, laboratory medical director at Allina Health, warned that if the situation does not improve, it could have serious effects on care. Providers in Minnesota hope they won’t have to make crisis-level decisions on whose needs are most urgent.

“We’re doing everything we can’t avoid that,” she said. “And if that means that we have to delay surgeries that can be safely delayed, there’s a cost but not as much of a cost as exhausting our blood supply.”

Posted on January 11, 2022 in Allina Health Laboratory

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