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American Red Cross declares first-ever blood crisis

blood donation
blood donation
Posted at 5:26 AM, Jan 12, 2022
and last updated 2022-01-12 09:21:45-05

LAS VEGAS (KTNV) — Blood inventory in the United States is at a historically low level. American Red Cross has declared its first-ever blood crisis.

Red Cross officials say doctors are being forced to decide which patients receive blood transfusions and who must wait.

Rachel Flanigan, the executive director of the Red Cross Southern Nevada Chapter, says they’d like to have at least five days of blood on hand. Right now, they have less than one day’s supply.

Donor turnout rates are the lowest they’ve been in a decade and Flanigan believes the pandemic is a big factor in that.

“What we run into is we don’t have the blood necessary that we need to move quickly in the event of an emergency. We also need to have that blood on hand for sickle cell patients, cancer patients, pediatric cases, and sometimes when they’re in an emergent situation they need those O products. Those are the ones we most urgently need,” Flanigan said.

American Red Cross is offering some big incentives for donors who want to give blood during this shortage.

If you make an appointment for January, you’ll automatically be entered to win two tickets to the Super Bowl in Los Angeles. The prize would include round-trip flights, a three-day hotel stay, and a $500 gift card for expenses.

You’ll also be entered in a drawing to win a home theater package, a gift card for tech support and installation, and a $500 gift card for food and fun.

All blood types are needed and welcome, but if you’re feeling sick you should stay home.

You can go to RedCrossBlood.org to make an appointment.