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American Red Cross will partner with Sandy Run Baptist Church in Roxobel on Tuesday, January 18th, 2022, to help ease a worsening national blood crisis.

According to the American Red Cross website, the shortage is the “worst blood shortage in over a decade, posing a concerning risk to patient care.”

The Red Cross provides about forty percent of the national blood supply. However, they currently do not have enough to distribute the necessary amounts.

Eastern North Carolina is not immune to this shortage. According to Barry Porter, the regional CEO for the American Red Cross, people underestimate the demand for blood. He asked media outlets across Eastern NC to explain this:

Every two seconds in America, somebody gets a blood transfusion. So it’s a constant demand for blood and blood products.”

Barry Porter, American Red Cross, Regional CEO

What Caused This Blood Crisis?

Several factors converged recently to create this critical shortage–most related to the COVID-19 pandemic.

First of all, 25 percent of blood donors are college students, as university campuses hold drives regularly. However, due to the pandemic, the number of participating college students dropped to a mere ten percent. In addition, only five percent of other regular donors continued to give blood during the peak of the coronavirus outbreak.

Secondly, people hesitate to give blood during the pandemic. In fact, people are unclear on whether they can donate after vaccination and whether testing sites are COVID-safe. The American Red Cross assures that the vaccine does not hinder your ability to donate blood. Besides that, they take many safety precautions to keep every donor as safe as possible.

Some blood drives are forced to cancel due to fast community spread of COVID-19, an active flu season, and winter weather explains the Red Cross website.

How You Can Help Fix This Blood Crisis – Donate at the Sandy Run Event

The Red Cross requests all blood types. However, the most critical needs at this time are the following:

  • Type O Positive, the most often transfused blood type. About 38% of people have this blood type.
  • Type O Negative, a universal blood type that emergency departments rely on when they lack the time to wait on blood type tests.
  • Platelets, the clotting component of blood, commonly needed by cancer patients.

The Sandy Run Baptist Church blood drive will run all afternoon until 6:30 pm on the18th. You’ll find the church at 310 E. Church Street, Roxobel. You can click here to reserve an appointment time.

Besides the Sandy Run event, two additional blood donation opportunities are upcoming nearby in Hertford County at these Ahoskie locations:

  • First Baptist Church, 312 West Main Street, Ahoskie | Sunday, January 23, 2022 | 1 pm until 6 pm
  • American Legion Post 102 | 116 N. McGlohon Street, Ahoskie | Wednesday, January 26, 2022 | 2 pm until 6 pm

Give Blood, Receive a Chance to Win Tickets to the Biggest Game of the Year

The national blood shortage is so severe the NFL is partnering with the American Red Cross to raise awareness–and award a significant prize package. So one lucky donor who donates at any drive in January of 2021 will win two tickets to attend Super Bowl LVI in Los Angeles. The prize includes a three-night hotel stay, airline tickets, and a $500 pre-paid gift card to cover other expenses.

If you want further information about the American Red Cross, the national blood shortage, or would prefer to schedule by phone, you can reach the donation center at 1-800-733-2767.

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