Hospitals plead for blood donors amid shortage

When was the last time you gave blood? Health officials across the state are urging you to head to a local blood drive and roll up those sleeves as soon as possible.

For weeks now, local hospitals have been in the grip of what many specialists call the worst shortage they’ve seen in their careers. Fueled by what was the explosive growth of the omicron variant of the coronavirus, Los Angeles County’s local blood supplies have been depleted, as donors stay away from sites, mobile blood drives shut down and the staff to gather the blood called in sick.

Blood supplies have fallen to their lowest levels in more than a decade. The American Red Cross calls it a national blood crisis.

“California, along with the rest of the nation, is experiencing the most severe blood shortage in the last 10 years,” Dr. Mark Ghaly, the secretary of the California Health & Human Services Agency, said in a statement. — Los Angeles Daily News 

Patients who rely on regular blood transfusions have been turned away due to the shortage. Some hospitals are postponing major surgery and organ transplants. It’s almost too frightening to imagine what would happen if a large casualty event like a mass shooting, terrorist attack, or other disaster were to occur.

If you’ve never given blood before, you can learn about the process here. If you would like to donate, visit the Red Cross for a list of blood drives in your area. 

See also:

Californians could get $500 tax credit for donating blood under new bill