GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. — If you have ever considered donating blood, now is the time. The American Red Cross says it's facing the worst blood shortage in over a decade.
Here in West Michigan, officials say we are at a crisis level. Right now, the nation's blood supply is at the lowest levels in years. Now, the Red Cross is making a desperate plea: please donate.
The Red Cross supplies 40% of the country's blood supply and has seen a 10% decrease in donations since March 2020, when the pandemic started.
Blood donations are needed for all types of patients from trauma victims and cancer patients and routine medical treatment.
"At this point, we need all blood types," said Meghan Lehman, the regional communication director for the American Red Cross Michigan Region. "Type-O and folks that are Type-O, they usually know they may fall into the universal blood type."
Lehman went on to say, "We are always calling them and asking them to donate blood. Another thing to note is, we need a diverse pool of donors because people that need blood are more likely to match those with a similar background -- so we need everyone to come out."
Lehman added many factors are causing the shortage, including canceled blood drives due to illness and staffing limitations, and an active flu season.
If you are looking for places to donate blood click here.
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