Shortage of blood donations creating medical crisis in SWFL

Published: January 12, 2022 5:28 AM EST
Updated: January 12, 2022 6:20 AM EST

Uncertain staffing is adding to the dangerous drop in blood donations in Southwest Florida and the rest of the country.

Once the pandemic started, donations dropped significantly. There has not been a spike in the need for blood, there just isn’t the supply to replace it. Normally, the American Red Cross has around five days’ worth of blood supply on hand; right now, it has less than a one-day supply. Add that to staffing concerns, and you have a crisis.

“We’re seeing blood drive cancellations and some staffing limitations,” said Siara Campbell with the American Red Cross’ South Florida region. “That’s part of it as well. It’s not necessarily that that the need has gone up, but that the supply and the amount of donors willing to make that blood donation has decreased.”

The consistent need for blood means medical experts have had to make tough choices when it comes to which patients get treatment.

“The difficult position that really we’re in right now is that doctors are being forced to make those difficult decisions of who receives transfusions,” Campbell said. “There are individuals with medical needs that require blood on a constant basis. So the need for blood now is significant.”

If you would like to donate blood, visit the Red Cross blood donation web page.