© 2022 | Jefferson Public Radio
Southern Oregon University
1250 Siskiyou Blvd.
Ashland, OR 97520
541.552.6301 | 800.782.6191
KSOR Header background image 1
a service of Southern Oregon University
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00
0:00
Available On Air Stations

Pandemic Is Causing A Shortage Of Blood Donations

Phlebotomist Josianne Fiefie, right, instructs Miami-Dade County Commissioner Xavier Suarez, left, to make a fist as he donates blood aboard a OneBlood blood donation bus, Wednesday, April 22, 2020, in Miami. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, thousands of blood donation sites have been closed and the need for blood is now critical.
Wilfredo Lee
/
Phlebotomist Josianne Fiefie, right, instructs Miami-Dade County Commissioner Xavier Suarez, left, to make a fist as he donates blood aboard a OneBlood blood donation bus, Wednesday, April 22, 2020, in Miami. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, thousands of blood donation sites have been closed and the need for blood is now critical.

The pandemic has resulted in a critical shortage of blood across the country.

The head of the Red Cross in the Cascades region, Dale Kunce, said they’re struggling with several issues. First, patients who postponed surgeries because of COVID-19 are now returning for treatment. Second, people alter their summer routines because of things like vacations, so they miss donation appointments. And third, as the delta variant surges, people are concerned about donating.

“They want to make sure it’s safe, which it is,” Kunce said. “Our facilities are totally safe. Our phlebotomists — or the people sticking you with the needle, doing the vampire’s work there — are safe. They’re following all the protocols that they need to.”

Only about 38% of Americans are eligible to give blood, according to Kunce. Most people can’t because they’re either too young, taking medications or have lived in countries with diseases like malaria.

The Red Cross in the Cascades region is asking people to donate. Appointments can be scheduled on the Red Cross’ website, by using the Red Cross Blood Donor App, or by calling 1-800-733-2767.

Copyright 2021 Oregon Public Broadcasting. To see more, visit Oregon Public Broadcasting.

Kristian Foden-Vencil is a reporter and producer for Oregon Public Broadcasting. He specializes in health care, business, politics, law and public safety.