A national blood crisis has been happening for most of 2022 already. If it persists, the consequences could be devastating for hospitals across the country — including the ones in our very own community.
But with such widespread need for donations, many people are left wondering how this shortage came to be. Even more pressing is the question of how much can one person really do to make a difference. The answers may surprise you.
How Did the Blood Shortage Happen?
There is always a need for blood in the medical field. And donations are not a new concept. But recent world events and unprecedented health issues have made things even more dire — namely, the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. This situation has not only added stress to hospitals in terms of staffing and available beds, but has also created the need for additional blood supply in order to properly support patients.
While the COVID-19 pandemic was the likely catalyst that put the current blood crisis over the ledge, it’s certainly not the only factor to consider. Because COVID-19 patients aren’t the only ones that need blood. During this shortage, accidents are still happening and critical surgeries are taking place, along with other life-or-death scenarios that hospitals see each day. All of these people need blood, too.
How Can You Help Your Community?
The best way to bring an end to the blood shortage is through an increase in donations. So if you are healthy and able to donate, you can make a big difference. Just one donation can save up to three lives. Plus, when you donate within your community, the blood supply will stay local and directly help one of your neighbors who needs it most. Not sure if you’re eligible? You can check out the requirements before going to make your donation.
To find a nearby blood drive, you can always visit the Red Cross website for up-to-date information. If you’re in Southern Maryland, you can find a full schedule of blood drives regularly hosted by UM Charles Regional Medical Center and sign up in advance to contribute. Regardless of how you donate, you can be sure that it will make a huge impact on someone’s life. If you’re looking to contribute even more, you can also donate plasma or platelets.