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The American Red Cross announced on Tuesday they are facing a national blood crisis and the worst blood shortage in over a decade.

“While some types of medical care can wait, others can’t,” said Dr. Pampee Young, chief medical officer of the Red Cross. “Hospitals are still seeing accident victims, cancer patients, those with blood disorders like sickle cell disease, and individuals who are seriously ill who all need blood transfusions to live even as Omicron cases surge across the country. We’re doing everything we can to increase blood donations to ensure every patient can receive medical treatments without delay, but we cannot do it without more donors. We need the help of the American people.”

Since the beginning of the pandemic, the Red Cross has seen a 10% decline in the number of people donating blood and are urging the country to roll up their sleeves and make an appointment to give blood or platelets.

All types are needed now, especially types O positive and O negative, as well as platelet donations, to help reverse this national blood crisis.

A blood donor card, driver’s license, or two other forms of identification are required at check-in. Individuals who are 17 years of age in most states (16 with parental consent where allowed by state law), weigh at least 110 pounds and are in generally good health may be eligible to donate blood.

To make an appointment to give blood or platelets download the Red Cross Blood Donor App, visit RedCrossBlood.org or call 1-800-RED CROSS (1-800-733-2767). To find a blood drive location near you click here.