COLUMBUS, Ohio (WCMH) – The American Red Cross is experiencing its worst blood shortage in more than a decade. On Wednesday, you can be a part of changing that through NBC4s annual “Blood Give-In” event.

Every year, the American Red Cross sees fewer donations due to the cold weather. This time around, the lingering COVID-19 pandemic is causing more problems. Normally, the Red Cross needs about 550 donors daily to meet the patient demand but has been having a hard time reaching that.

“Hospitals are trying to take care of all kinds of patients, including COVID-19 patients,” said Rodney Wilson, biomedical communications specialist with the Red Cross. “With the very limited blood supply, may force doctors and hospitals to postpone elective medical care so that patients with the most urgent needs can get their needs met first and that’s not an ideal situation.”

To help bolster the blood supply, NBC 4 and the Red Cross will hold the event Wednesday from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. at the Columbus Airport Marriott. People will be required to mask up.

“When you think about blood donations, you often think about accidents,” Wilson said. “There are many different kinds of patients that blood is used to help. New mothers who hemorrhage, cancer patients, it can be anyone in your life who might need that blood.”

The American Red Cross is encouraging people to schedule their appointments ahead of time. However, they will accommodate walk-ins as well.

The blood drive is held in partnership with the American Red Cross and WNCI.

For more information and to sign up, click here.