American Red Cross facing severe blood shortage due to coronavirus concerns

DEDHAM, MASS. (WHDH) - The American Red Cross is facing a severe blood shortage after coronavirus concerns caused nearly 2,700 drives to be canceled across the country.

The fear of a large group congregating at workplaces, college campuses and schools amid the pandemic has resulted in some 86,000 fewer blood donations, according to the Red Cross.

In Massachusetts, 115 drives have been canceled, resulting in 3,130 fewer blood donations.

The blood shortage could impact patients who need surgery, victims of car accidents and other emergencies, or patients suffering from cancer.

“I am looking at the refrigerator that contains only one day’s supply of blood for the hospital,” said Dr. Robertson Davenport, director of transfusion medicine at Michigan Medicine in Ann Arbor. “The hospital is full. There are patients who need blood and cannot wait.”

Healthy individuals are being called to donate blood to help those in-need.

People can schedule an appointment to give blood by visiting RedCrossBlood.org, using the Red Cross Blood Donor App, calling 1-800-RED-CROSS or enabling the Blood Donor Skill on any Alexa Echo device.

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