New England’s hospital heads issue plea for blood donations

Boston Statehouse

BOSTON (State House News Service) – Heads of the hospital associations in the six New England states, representing hundreds of hospitals and health care organizations, are teaming up to draw attention to what they describe as severe blood shortages facing providers.

Steve Walsh of the Massachusetts Health and Hospital Association, Steven Michaud of the Maine Hospital Association, Teresa Paiva Weed Hospital Association of Rhode Island, Jeff Tieman of the Vermont Association of Hospitals and Health Systems, Jennifer Jackson of the Connecticut Hospital Association and Steve Ahnen of the New Hampshire Hospital Association jointly recorded a video encouraging people to donate blood to help hospitals perform life-saving procedures, treat emergency room patients with traumatic injuries, and otherwise care for some of their sickest and most vulnerable populations.

“This is no ordinary decline in supply,” Paiva Weed said. “It is unlike any shortage we have seen in years.”

Walsh says in the video that the groups are “uniting with a simple ask — please make an appointment to donate blood today.” The video directs viewers to the Red Cross website to make an appointment, and says they can also contact their local hospital about donation drives.

On July 27, the American Red Cross said it had an “emergency need for lifesaving blood amid the ongoing severe blood shortage.” The Red Cross was distributing about 12 percent more blood products to hospitals across the U.S. compared to the same time last year, and said it needed to collect more than 1,000 additional donations each day to meet current hospital demand an end the severe blood shortage.

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