American Red Cross experiencing nationwide blood shortage

Health

The western Massachusetts chapter of the American Red Cross held a legislative breakfast to show local politicians what it is the organization does. 

This visit came at a crucial time.

The Red Cross is experiencing a national blood shortage, following a decline in donations over the last two months. 

“We typically like to see a five day supply or more, and right now, we have less than a three day supply,” said Ana Parrelli, the district manager of the western Massachusetts chapter. 

Now, the Red Cross needs 13,000 units of blood donated daily, to fulfill the need.

“We need all blood types,” said Parrelli. “Especially type O because that’s the universal blood type that we use the most of.”

“It’s very easy,” said donor Art Colling. “It’s totally painless.”

Dr. John Santoro told 22News he knows just how important blood donations are, working in the emergency room at Baystate Medical Center. 

“When you don’t have enough blood, that is a lifeline to saving people, when we have a shortage, it really impacts what we can do and how quickly we can do it,” explained Dr. Santoro. 

In addition to blood, the Red Cross is in need of monetary donations and volunteers. For information on how you can help, or to find a local blood drive, click here

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