Throughout the pandemic, there has been a national shortage in blood supplies, and the American Red Cross has reported that its numbers are the lowest they have been in six years.
"We're at an emergency blood shortage, so it's really critical that anyone who can donate blood comes out," Meghan Lehman of the American Red Cross said to Click on Detroit.
The Red Cross is currently a critical point as, to date, 10,000 additional blood products are required each week this month to meet hospital and patient needs.
Now, the American Red Cross has issued a public call to action requesting that those eligible donate to rebuild the national inventory of blood donations.
"The Red Cross is now facing an emergency blood and platelet shortage. Blood donor turnout has reached the lowest levels of the year as many have delayed giving amid a return to the workplace and in-person learning, as well as a recent surge in COVID-19 cases across the country due to the delta variant," Jodi Sheedy, senior director of Biomedical Communications at the Red Cross, told Fox News.
Sheedy shared that it is concerning to see such low levels during the fall as it is usually when supplies rebound.
With surging hospital admissions and blood drive cancellations due to the pandemic, the Red Cross has not been able to return their blood supplies to the numbers they need to be at.
The blood types the hospitals need most right now are type O positive and O negative, Fox reported. Type O Positive is the most common blood type, and patients with type O negative blood are known as universal donors.
The president of Red Cross Biomedical Services, Chris Hrouda, shared in a statement that the Red Cross blood supply is the lowest it has been since 2015. While he knows this isn't an easy time, he did share that the issue is essential to those in need.
"We recognize that this is a trying time for our country as we balance the new demands of returning to former routines with the ongoing pandemic, but lifesaving blood donations remains essential for hospitals patients in need of emergency and medical care that can't wait," Hrouda said. "The Red Cross is working around the clock to meet the blood needs of hospitals and patients – but we can't do it alone."
To see if you are eligible to donate, visit RedCrossBlood.org to make sure you qualify before making a donation.