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February 7, 2022

Red Cross Declares National Blood Crisis

The American Red Cross is facing its worst blood shortage in more than a decade and is urging organizations to host blood drives and individuals to roll up their sleeves.  

Since the pandemic began in March 2020, many organizations that traditionally hold blood drives – such as corporations, schools and churches – have gone to remote work, virtual learning and online services. That means fewer opportunities to take advantage of ready-made audiences. The organization – which supplies 40% of the nation’s blood supply — says they’ve seen: 

  • 10% overall blood donation decline 
  • 62% drop in college and high school blood drives 
  • An increase in drive cancellations due to illness, weather and staffing shortages. 

At the same time, a return to elective procedures along with ongoing emergency care have increased needs among hospitals. A spokesman for the Red Cross said hospital demand for red blood cells is up 10% compared to 2019. 

Community blood centers are facing similar challenges. The Blood Connection, which supplies blood to more than 80 South Carolina and Georgia hospitals, recently had to close 13 donation centers because of winter weather, worsening an already critical situation, according to news reports. 

To learn how you can help, go to for information on how to: 

  • Organize a blood drive, 
  • Find a blood drive near you, 
  • Make an appointment at a local blood center to schedule a donation.