SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) – Baystate Medical Center’s blood donor center has reopened to the public by appointment only.

The American Red Cross is facing a national blood crisis, it’s the worst blood shortage in more than a decade. It is primarily due to the surge of the Omicron variant, winter months when blood donations are at their lowest, staffing limitations that caused the closure of many donor centers nationwide, and canceled blood drives.

“The need for blood does not go away. Their is no blood substitute. So with one donation, maybe 30 or 40 minutes of your time, can save up to three lives,” said Supervisor Nicole Vanzandt.

Dangerously low blood supply levels are posing a concerning risk to patient care and forcing doctors to make difficult decisions about who receives blood transfusions and who will need to wait until more products become available.

Red-blood cell donations are being accepted, but not platelets, at the Daly Building Blood Donor Center located at Baystate Medical Center on 759 Chestnut Street in Springfield. To make an appointment call 413-794-4600.

  • Monday – Thursday from 8 a.m. – 4:30 p.m.
  • Fridays from 8 a.m. – 12 p.m.

“The re-activation of our Blood Donor Center has already contributed greatly to our local inventory supplies. As we continue to navigate the challenges imposed by the pandemic on our operations, the commitment of our donors encourages all of us in the work we do,” said Dr. Andrzejewski medical director, Transfusion Medicine Services at Baystate Medical Center.

“By donating blood, an individual becomes a hero to someone by making sure there is blood on our shelves when a patient desperately needs it. With just one donation that one individual can help save many lives,” he added.

According to Baystate Health, 100 percent of all blood donations made to its Blood Donor Program are used in western Massachusetts.