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Red Cross, Lahey, Report Severe Shortage in Blood Donations

Health experts are asking residents to roll up their sleeves and donate the gift of life.

On Tuesday, Lahey Hospital & Medical Center tweeted that there has been a lack of blood donations recently that is having an impact on available supplies.

“Blood inventories have declined significantly nationwide and have impacted Lahey Hospital & Medical Center’’s supply,” they wrote. “You can help! We encourage eligible, healthy individuals to visit the Red Cross website to make and keep an appointment to donate blood now and throughout the summer months.”

The Red Cross also issued a statement about the dip in donations, saying that a rise in the number of trauma cases, organ transplants and elective surgeries requiring blood products over recent months has depleted the nation’s blood inventory.

“The Red Cross is currently experiencing a severe blood shortage,” said Chris Hrouda, president of Red Cross Biomedical Services. “Our teams are working around the clock to meet the extraordinary blood needs of hospitals and patients – distributing about 75,000 more blood products than expected over the past three months to meet demand – but we can’t do it without donors. Every two seconds, someone in the U.S. needs blood.”

The Red Cross says there is great hospital demand for blood as patients who previously deferred care during the COVID-19 pandemic present with more advanced disease progression, therefore requiring increased blood transfusions.

“Some hospitals are being forced to slow the pace of elective surgeries until the blood supply stabilizes, delaying crucial patient care,” Hrouda added. “As we return to pre-pandemic activities and resume travel to visit loved ones, we want people to remember the needs of patients this summer and the power so many of us have to help save lives.”

You can schedule an appointment by visiting or calling 1-800-RED CROSS (1-800-733-2767). All blood types are needed but there is a particular need for type O donors.

According to the Red Cross, each blood drive and donation center follows the highest standards of safety and infection control. Individuals who have received a COVID-19 vaccine are still eligible to donate blood and platelets. Knowing the name of the manufacturer of the vaccine they receive is important in determining blood donation eligibility.

As more and more people are vaccinated and the number of COVID-19 cases significantly drops, these Red Cross safety guidelines — based on recommendations from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and Occupational Safety and Health Administration — are now in effect:

– Fully vaccinated blood donors will no longer need to wear a mask or socially distance. If someone wishes to continue wearing a mask, they may do so.

– Non-vaccinated blood donors will continue to be required to wear a mask and socially distance for their safety and the safety of those around them.