LOCAL BLOOD SUPPLY DROPS TO EMERGENCY LEVELS FOR FOURTH TIME THIS YEAR AS NATIONWIDE SHORTAGE CONTINUES
Region has again dropped to a 1–2-day supply amid COVID-19 variant concerns.
KANSAS CITY – Community Blood Center (CBC) announced a blood emergency today due in large part to the looming holiday season and continued fears surrounding COVID-19 variant. Currently, the region’s blood supply stands at a 1-2-day inventory, well below the ideal inventory of 7 days. Blood centers across the country are and have been suffering from shortages throughout the past 19 months of the pandemic.
Factors contributing to this alarming trend:
- Donor fatigue from constant urgent/critical messages and a significant decrease in first time donors stepping up to help.
- Working from home is the new normal, preventing many organizations from being able to host successful blood drives.
- Thousands of groups that had supported the blood supply pre-pandemic have not resumed blood drives.
- Widespread fear of COVID-19 infection continues and fears about new variants keep donors away.
- Many High schools and colleges, which accounted for 25% of our blood donations, have not returned to hosting blood drives.
- Donor confusion over eligibility around vaccination status. (Donors are equally confused about whether having or not having the vaccine impacts their ability to give blood.)
- Currently, there is no national surplus. Prior to the pandemic, a national surplus of blood products would be used to mitigate any regional blood shortages.
Each new COVID-19 variant comes with more appointment and blood drive cancellations, creating extra volatility to our blood supply. Hospitals and patients must be able to rely upon a steady flow of volunteer donors, but new variants are causing new uncertainty at the worst time of the year, as we head into the winter and holiday season.
“In a normal year, winter is a difficult time to maintain the blood supply. Unpredictable weather, cold and flu season, school breaks, family and holiday travel all contribute to making blood donations less of a priority. Normally, October and November are a time where we build our inventory in anticipation of these challenges, but this year is especially dire without a solid inventory pre-holiday and the news of a new variant,” said Patsy Shipley, Executive Director of Community Blood Center. “Donating blood is safe, easy and vital to those who need it. This is the season of giving and there is no better gift to give than a life-saving blood donation.”
Donating blood only takes one hour. We are taking extra precautions to help prevent the person-to-person spread of COVID-19. All CBC staff are vaccinated. As always, people are not eligible to donate if they’re experiencing a cold, sore throat, respiratory infection or flu-like symptoms. People can donate blood regardless of vaccination status. Additional information on donor eligibility and COVID-19 precautions is available here.
Donors can schedule appointments by calling 1-877-468-6844 or visiting www.savealifenow.org.
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About Community Blood Center of Greater Kansas City (CBC)
Founded in 1958, Community Blood Center (CBC) provides over 90% of the blood used by hospitals throughout the Greater Kansas City metropolitan area, as well as eastern Kansas and western Missouri. CBC provides nearly 200,000 blood products each year to over 60 area hospitals and relies on volunteer donors each day to meet the need for lifesaving gifts of blood. CBC operates 365/24/7 to deliver safe, high quality products to meet transfusion needs for routine care and emergencies. CBC is a Division of New York Blood Center, Inc. (a family of operating Divisions known as New York Blood Center Enterprises). For more information, visit savealifenow.org. Connect with us on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and LinkedIn.