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Blood shortage at crisis levels with only one-day supply on shelves

Posted at 4:41 PM, Jan 11, 2022
and last updated 2022-01-11 19:50:22-05

TULSA, Okla. — Tulsa’s Red Cross says it is in need of blood donations after the national organization declared its first-ever blood crisis.

They tell us the blood supply and donations are just as bad locally as they are across the country.

MORE >>> Red Cross says blood supplies are 'dangerously low' amid worst shortage in 10 years

A Tulsa spokesperson says only 30% of their appointments are filled for the rest of January.

“Which isn’t a lot and that means that we are collecting 25% less blood than we expect to this time of year,” Matt Trotter with American Red Cross said.

The Red Cross says they like to have a 3-to-5 day supply but they only have a one-day supply.

They say they are low for multiple reasons.

“With the pandemic going on we are seeing fewer healthy donors available," Trotter said. "We are also having a problem with the pandemic causing staffing shortages so some blood drives have had to be canceled because we don’t have enough people to run them.”

Trotter says they supply blood to Ascension St. John and Hillcrest facilities.

With such a short supply of blood, those hospitals and doctors are faced with making tough decisions.

“We are seeing hospitals that are having to make some thoughtful decisions about the procedures that they do," said Trotter. "We are hearing about doctors who are having to make decisions about when patients will have treatment as opposed to when they may have to wait a little bit to get that.“

Anyone who is healthy, even those vaccinated, is asked to make an appointment and keep it.

“If you can’t find an appointment to donate blood today, make one next week. If you can’t find one next week, make one in two weeks or make an appointment next month. That’s sort of the problem we have right now is not being able to fill all those appointments on an ongoing basis,” Trotter said.

You can make an appointment online, through the Red Cross app or by calling 1-800-733-2767 (1-800-RED-CROS).

The Red Cross says they also need more volunteers and paid staff so they don’t have to cancel blood drives.

You can find more about those opportunities on their website.

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