CLEVELAND (WJER) (Jan. 25, 2022) – The organizations supplying blood to hospitals throughout Ohio and across the nation say there’s still an urgent need for donations to recover from the worst shortage in more than a decade.
The American Red Cross has been reporting less than a one-day supply of critical blood types in recent weeks. Northern Ohio Region Communications Director Jim McIntyre says there has been a significant and encouraging response to the organization’s plea for people to roll up their sleeves during National Blood Donor Month here in January, although more donations are needed in the days and weeks ahead.
“People who are in vehicle accidents and rushed to the emergency rooms or those being treated for cancer, mothers with problematic childbirths are in need of blood transfusions, and the only way to get them is from volunteer blood donors.”
Vitalant, the organization that supplies blood products to Cleveland Clinic Union Hospital, has been experiencing similar challenges. Northeast Region Communications Manager Kristen Lane says it’s not unusual for blood donations to drop off after the holidays, but the pandemic has exacerbated the situation.
“Because many schools and colleges have switched to remote learning, we have lost anywhere between 20 and 30 percent of our blood drives that used to be hosted in schools and colleges.”
A couple of area churches are hosting blood drives this week to help the Red Cross replenish its supply. There’s one Wednesday from 2 to 7 at the First United Church of Christ in Sugarcreek and another Friday from 1 to 7 at the First United Methodist Church in New Philadelphia. Appointments are required and can be made at redcrossblood.org, by calling 1-800-Red-Cross or through the organization’s Blood Donor app.
One of Vitalant’s mobile donation centers will be visiting the area in late February for events at the hospital and Garaway High School. For details or to schedule an appointment, visit vitalant.org.