Medical professionals are raising awareness across the country in response to a shortage in the United States blood supply.
These shortages are potentially critical to many Americans annually. According to The Community Blood Center, 4.5 million Americans will need a blood transfusion every year.
The American Red Cross, along with the Association for the Advancement of Blood & Biotherapies and America’s Blood Centers, released a joint statement last month in order to raise public’s awareness of the current status of the blood supply.
“Today, the country confronts new challenges as COVID-19 cases surge and winter storms threaten to further disrupt the blood supply,” the statement read. “As these concerns compound, blood centers nationwide continue to face a decline in donor turnout, blood drive cancellations, staffing challenges and donor eligibility misinformation. Yet the need for blood remains constant.”
There is a lot at stake with the shortage for the Red Cross which accounts for approximately 40% of the country’s blood supply. The Red Cross saw a 10% decrease and 62% shortage of college and high school blood drives respectively since the pandemic began according to United Press International.
With these shortages, some businesses across the country have tried raising awareness in their own way.
Krispy Kreme spent the last week in January giving away a dozen donuts to those showing proof of a blood or platelet donation and other businesses have started to incentivize as well. Amazon is one of the latest to do so with a $10 gift card awarded to those who donate.
The encouragement entered the public sphere with California Assemblyman Freddie Rodriguez, a Democrat for Pomona, introducing a bill that will give a tax credit to donors.
Those in need are hoping that the shortage taking place does not last much longer. With all the talk about incentives and legislation, there are plenty of opportunities out there for individuals to give.