Red Cross In Dire Need Of Blood Donations

COVID-19 causes shortage in blood donations


Sruthi Ramesh

“Donated blood is used not just in cases of extreme blood loss from traumatic injuries but also helps patients survive surgeries and is used for cancer treatment and chronic illnesses,” said HOSA sponsor Mrs. Strathman.

Elizabeth Hamby, Co-Editor-In-Chief of The Ledger

Back in October, 82 units of blood were donated with HOSA’s blood drive sponsored by Impact Life. If you donated then, you are now safe to donate again, and it is desperately needed.

As of Jan. 11, the Red Cross has announced that the nation is having one of its worst blood crises, which is heavily affected by the multiple variants of COVID-19. 

Ever since the pandemic has begun, the Red Cross has experienced a 10% decrease in patients and donors are dwindling even in Omicron times. 

In order to give blood you must: be 16 years of age (with parent’s permission), at least 110 pounds, and in good health. Additionally, during this time, masks are required while donating. Almost all blood types are needed, especially O negative, which is considered the universal blood type and can be used for all patients. 

“Donating blood is important to me and should be important to others because it saves lives,” said HOSA sponsor Mrs. Strathman. “Donated blood is used not just in cases of extreme blood loss from traumatic injuries but also helps patients survive surgeries and is used for cancer treatment and chronic illnesses.”

One patient featured on the Red Cross website, Kristen Mill, suffered from several repercussions from a tick bite in 2008, making transfusions essential for her hemoglobin production. She is worried that when she needs blood she won’t have it due to the lack of supply. 

“The hospital came to me and they apologized, and they said, ‘We’re so sorry, our blood bank is depleted to the point where we don’t have anyone that matches with you.’ It’s very scary, especially if you don’t know if the blood is coming, because this is something that you need to live,” said Mill.

If you are a male at least 17 years of age, you can even donate with Power Red, a process that safely takes two units of blood, instead of the regular one unit, meaning more of a difference you can make with those in need of blood. All in all there are many different ways you can give blood. 

In order to incentivize donors, the Red Cross paired with the NFL is automatically submitting every person that donates blood before Jan. 31 into a raffle to win two Super Bowl tickets in LA. 

Similarly, at Impact Life they are offering donors a long sleeve shirt or a gift card of the donor’s choice before Jan 16.  

“With the blood drive HOSA hosts here, donating blood helps hundreds of people locally, possibly even saving someone’s life,” said senior Jaden Zelidon, president of the club. 

Each donation gives one pint of blood, and with a pint of blood, you can potentially save three lives, so if you are able donate! Visit Red Cross or Impact Life’s website to schedule an appointment.

HOSA is hosting another blood drive coming up on Feb. 8 in the small gym.