NEW HAVEN, Conn. (WTNH) — The American Red Cross continues to face a blood crisis, both nationally and right here in Connecticut.
One of the major reasons, according to the Connecticut Blood Center, is supply and demand.
“It’s actually been difficult coming out of this pandemic and as we sort of transition into an endemic,” said Connecticut Blood Center Spokesperson Jonathan DeCasanova. “The demand is actually higher now than it’s ever been.”
The figures are attention-grabbing. The Connecticut Blood Center said supply stands at a two-to-three-day level, while platelets and types O and B- are at just one-to-two-day supply.
Rhode Island Blood Center also announced a blood emergency Monday.
At the beginning of the pandemic, there was a dramatic drop in supply. However, there was also a drop in demand.
People and hospitals were putting off elective surgery. It also has to do with the time of year.
“This time of year can always be difficult for the blood supply with school breaks and increased travel making blood donations less of a priority,” DeCasanova said.
Hospitals and patients rely on volunteers to receive life-saving blood donations. According to America’s Blood Centers, only three percent of the population here in the U.S. donates blood.
If you want to donate, there are options.
“Our mobile blood drives continue to be a convenience for donors, which as a community member, you typically find valuable, for that blood drive to come to you,” DeCasanova said. “We still do have our brand new beautiful Middletown center which people can come into. We try and get the best of both worlds.”
DeCasanova said there are myths when it comes to blood donation. Typically, the actual donation only takes five to 10 minutes.
He said you should give yourself about 45 minutes to an hour for registration and other necessary steps in the process. After the donation, you can spend a little time to refresh, have a snack and get some hydration back in you.
To learn more about how you can donate blood, click here.