Today Community Blood Center (CBC) declared the first blood emergency of 2023. The blood emergency is due to several evolving factors including cold and flu season, a high number of lapsed blood donors and a decrease in first-time donors. In January, CBC received 2,000 fewer blood donations than the year prior and blood donations are below hospital and patient needs.
The number of blood donations still are not back to pre-pandemic levels. Compounding the problem is a continued lag in first-time and youth donors, which remain about half of pre-pandemic levels. And while remote workers are returning to in-person work, office and community blood drives and visits to CBC Donor Centers are significantly down. People working from home had an easier time donating in the donor centers, but they are seeing a dramatic decrease at the centers.
In addition to whole blood donors, platelet donors are urgently needed. With a shelf life of just 7 days, CBC relies on dedicated platelet donors to help patients undergoing chemotherapy, those with bleeding disorders, new mothers, and more.
Blood donors can give every 56 days, and platelet donors can give twice per month. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) recently lifted eligibility restrictions for individuals who lived in Europe during certain periods of time. To view current eligibility guidelines, visit savealifenow.org or call 800.688.0900.
The need is constant, but the supply is not. Visit savealifenow.org to schedule an appointment to donate, or call 877-468-6844.