Local impacts of nationwide blood shortage

How a nationwide blood shortage affects the Reno area.
Published: Jan. 25, 2023 at 7:20 PM PST
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RENO, Nev. (KOLO) - It’s been a year since the Red Cross declared the first-ever national blood crisis. Today, that shortage is still creating problems both nationwide and locally.

Vitalant, the non-profit blood bank that serves the Northern Nevada community, says that they’ve been struggling to recover their blood supply since the pandemic. Right now, their supply is about 20% below where it was pre-pandemic, creating concern for the organization because the blood bank distributes blood supply to our region’s 22 hospitals.

“It’s part of the health of the community, as doctors are transfusing the components everybody assumes it’s going to be there, the only way we can take that for granted is; if behind the scenes people are donating,” said Scott Edward, Senior Donor Recruitment Manager with Vitalant.

The need for community donations is critical. Saint Mary’s hospital, one of the 22 hospitals that receive blood from the organization, released this statement in regard to the blood shortage crisis.

“You know the silent heroes of our community are volunteering to donate blood, and here in Nevada we need to see about 3,000 people who are donating,” said Edward.

To learn more about how you can help the community and donate blood or organize a blood drive, click here.