The American Red Cross announced this week that the national blood supply has fallen to ‘critically low levels.'
The organization said the blood supply dropped nearly 25% since early August.
The American Red Cross provides the country with 40% of its blood supply, totaling around 2,500 hospitals and transfusion centers.
A number of factors are causing this shortage.
Climate events can lead to blood drive cancellations, reduced donations, and other issues. During Hurricane Idalia, more than 700 units of blood went uncollected in the affected area.
The busy travel season and back-to-school activities also contributed to lower donor turnout.
Donors of all blood types are needed, but there is an emergency need for platelets and type O blood.
Blood donors have to be at least 16 years old, weigh at least 110 pounds, and be in good health. You can donate every 56 days. Platelet donors need to be 17 years of age or older. For more on eligibility requirements, click here.
The Red Cross said more gay men were eligible to give blood in August. The organization implemented a more inclusive risk-based assessment, regardless of sexual orientation. Gay and bisexual men have historically been banned from blood donation.
To make an appointment, you can visit RedCrossBlood.org, or call 1-800-Red-Cross.
@scrippsnews The American Red Cross says it's in need of blood donations. This week, the organization announced the blood supply dropped nearly 25% since early August. The Red Cross supplies the U.S. with 40% of its blood supply. #BloodDonation ♬ original sound - Scripps News
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