Residents may have noticed that there has been an increase in the number of blood drives locally. That’s because there’s a major blood shortage in the United States. A quarter of the blood centers in the Midwest have just a day’s supply or even less on hand. Emily Holley is a spokesperson for the American Red Cross in Iowa.
Many blood centers report they’re running critically low of O-negative blood. It’s the most common blood type used in emergencies when a patient’s blood type is unknown. Holley says more donations are also needed for platelets.
Platelets are the cells in blood that form clots and stop or prevent bleeding. Cancer patients often need platelet transfusions if their bone marrow cells aren’t producing enough platelets due to chemotherapy.