Emergency blood shortage could impact trauma patients

NOW: Emergency blood shortage could impact trauma patients

BENTON TOWNSHIP, Mich. — The American Red Cross has issued an emergency blood shortage, citing an increase in trauma patients nationwide but a decrease in donors. 

“People are excited to get out and do things, so this is less of a priority, plus the increase in demand due to trauma, an increase of elective surgery, there’s a few different things happening,” said Meghan Leahman, Regional Communications Director for the American Red Cross. 

People may be resuming much of their normal life as we emerge from the pandemic, but one thing hasn’t bounced back.

Blood drives through schools, churches and workplaces haven’t returned to full force and donating isn’t at the top of minds. 

Meanwhile, hospitals are seeing more trauma patients. 

“We’ve been telling our hospitals ‘I can give you this much O+, I know you want that much, but we can only fill the order this much,’ that’s the last thing you want to do in hospitals, not give their full order,” said Dawn Kaiser, Area Vice President for Versiti Blood Center Michigan.

ABC57 reached out to Lakeland Hospital to see if they’ve been impacted yet and thankfully they are okay for now, saying: 

Spectrum Health Lakeland works closely with Versiti Blood Center of Michigan to ensure we are able to meet the blood supply needs of our patient population. To date, we have not experienced any disruptions in services based on current supply.

Hospitals rely on providers like Versiti and the Red Cross, though, that are hoping people hear their call. 

“If you want to do something where you don’t have to take out your checkbook, donate blood, it’s an hour of your time, and it’s likely you or a family member will need blood in your lifetime,” said Kaiser. 

Both providers want people to know you can donate blood two days after getting any of the COVID-19 vaccines, as well as when taking most medications

Spectrum Health Lakeland is hosting the following blood drives in August: 

Monday, August 9 from 12p to 5p at Spectrum Health Lakeland Watervliet Hospital

Tuesday, August 10 from 10a to 3p at Spectrum Health Lakeland Medical Center in St. Joseph

Wednesday, August 18 from 12p to 6p at Spectrum Health Lakeland Niles Hospital


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