American Red Cross seeks blood donations amid national shortage

WATERTOWN, New York (WWNY) – A need for blood has the American Red Cross calling for help as the effects are being felt nationwide.

“Right now, our hospitals are outpacing our donors for the amount of blood hospitals need. We’re crucially in a situation now where we need more donors to step up and provide some blood for us,” said Ryan McIntosh, Account Manager for the American Red Cross.

Central and Northern New York Account Manager Ryan McIntosh says donations dip in the summer since people are often busier. The Red Cross is hoping to change that.

“We’re really trying to bring it back up, get these hospitals what they need and provide it to members of the community,” said McIntosh.

Summer blood donation shortages may be nothing new, but this season has seen a number of national disasters. Most recently, Hurricane Lee. It’s partially responsible for the crisis and has significantly driven demand up.

“It’s a little bit of a scary time, but I think people are going to step up, they’re going to see that we need help. We always come together in times of need,” said McIntosh.

For local hospitals and EMS personnel, blood is essential. Jeff Call with the Cape Vincent Ambulance Squad says your donation does makes a difference.

“When you hear about bad car accidents, bus accidents, things like that, there’s potential that an entire blood bank in a hospital can be put down to minimal amounts of blood,” said Call.

His suggestion? Donate whenever you can.

“The more blood they have at their disposal to dispense to the hospitals and the blood banks, the better the entire healthcare system is,” said Call.

If you’d like to donate blood, you can schedule an appointment and check your eligibility via the American Red Cross’ website.

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