COLUMBUS, Ohio (WCMH)–A critical shortage of blood is leaving Ohio’s hospitals and EMS workers desperate for donations according to the Red Cross.
“We’re seeing an increase in demand, and we want to be able to keep up with that same levels of our demand,” said Michael Tyler, Regional Communications Manager for the Red Cross in Columbus.
According to the Red Cross, around 550 donations of blood are needed per day, just to keep up with demand here in Columbus. Due to the pandemic, they’ve had fewer blood drives and fewer donations.
“Even though we’re in a severe blood shortage, we’re always looking to expand upon, diversifying our blood supply, so that we are able to treat the most patients as we can year-round,” said Tyler.
Meanwhile, doctors say the blood shortage is leading to a backlog of surgeries and could possibly limit blood transfusions for trauma victims if things escalate.
“It happens multiple times per week at a Level 1 trauma center. We have someone come in from a car accident or a gunshot wound or something else, and as you know with trauma is, no one ever knows when they’re going to be the trauma patient,” said Dr. Andrew Thomas, Chief Clinical Officer for Ohio State University’s Wexner Medical Center.
This is why he’s asking people to consider the impact donating blood could have on others, as well as themselves.
“As we’ve tried to make the point to the Central Ohio community, everyone needs to donate. If you’ve donated in the past, that’s great, now’s the time to roll up your sleeve again. If you haven’t taken the chance to donate in the past, give it a shot, it’s actually pretty simple it takes less than an hour,” said Dr. Thomas.