National Blood Shortage
Jackson, TN. (WNBJ)-
The nation is experiencing a major blood shortage. The reason for this shortage has been identified as an increased demand, much of it due to the increased number of complex therapies such as chemotherapy, organ transplants and heart surgeries, that require large amounts of blood and blood products. Certain communities have lower levels of donation rates, and Vitalant blood bank is working in these communities to increase those rates. Lawren Bogard (Vitalant Manager of Donor Recruitment) stated, “specifically we’re trying to enhance our levels of diversity in our blood donations. It’s not necessarily saying targeting, but that is one of the hugest and widest gaps we have nationwide, not just Vitalant, but blood banks across the nation.”
COVID has led to a 10 percent decline in blood donations, and a 62 percent decline in donations from schools and colleges, the worst national shortage in a decade. Kelly Isenor (Healthcare Professional) informed us, “since December we’ve actually had to restrict the amount of blood that is actually going to an area hospital. Nationwide its about 1 out of every 4 requests we are able to fill.”
With the country in dire need for blood donations the Biden administration spoke out today about the food and drug administration's long-time blood donation guidelines, which are impacting the LGBTQ+ community by preventing gay and bisexual men from being eligible blood donors. A white house official stated this morning, "we believe blood donation eligibility should not be determined by methods that are based upon sexual orientation and we're committed to achieving this goal."