BUFFALO, N.Y. (WKBW) — The American Red Cross and Connect Life are asking Western New Yorkers to roll up their sleeves.
“It’s literally a life saving measure,” Michael Tedesco from the American Red Cross said. “The levels we have right now are the lowest they’ve been in more than a decade.”
Michael Tedesco from the American Red Cross said the red cross needs 10,000 units of blood donated, per week, to return to normal levels nationwide.
“So, there aren’t delays in treatments for those patients who need blood,” Tedesco said. “Be it transfusions, trauma, or wherever it’s needed.”
Connect Life is Western New York's community blood bank, supplying 75% of the blood used in the region. Amanda Farrell is the senior director of donor recruitment. She said connect life supplies 35,000 units of blood to Western New York hospitals annually
“We need more than 100 people every single day to donate to make sure blood supply stays stable.”
Farrell said right now, connect life only has a one-day supply of type o blood.
“One car accident, one difficult heart surgery, a new leukemia patient can just wipe out that entire blood supply,” Farrell said.
And Farrell said blood only has a shelf life of 42 days.
“It needs to constantly be replenished,” Farrell said. “It’s not like there’s ever enough.”
But it’s not unusual to see blood donations dip around this time of the year
“But that combined with the reinvigoration of COVID-19 and seasonal illness has impacted that even more,” Farrell said.
Anyone who has had an exposure to COVID-19, has symptoms, or a confirmed positive test should wait to donate. But Tedesco said recent vaccination should not deter anyone
“Even if they had it the day prior, as long as we know what kind of vaccination they had, we’re ready to welcome them,” Tedesco said.