An explanation of how
blood supply is being affected.
January 26, 2021 by Ervin Zubic
With an increasing amount hospitalizations in the United States due to COVID-19, hospitals and blood centers are quickly falling short of blood donations due to the closure of various collection locations like schools and colleges. Blood donations are incredibly vital for performing surgeries and offering treatments to people with various illnesses. In addition, it also influences the ability to extract convalescent plasma, which is a serum full of anti-bodies, made from a recovering corona virus patient’s blood.
Some reputable reports from America’s Blood Centers suggest that around thirteen community blood centers receive a one-day supply, while other centers (around twenty) only get two day supplies. This problem is especially critical in rural healthcare systems, as facilities often depend on blood for stabilizing patients while transferring them to suitable facilities. New York’s colleges and high schools alone account for more than 70,000 donations per school year.
Doctors grow more concerned over blood supply shortages across the US
As you would expect, more and more doctors are offering their two cents about the current predicament. Montefiore Health System’s Doctor Joan Uehlinger stated that the blood supply across the entire country and state has been alarmingly low.
More and more blood centers are attempting to increase the number of blood donations by collaborating with various hospitals. This strategy will be especially useful during the winter season, where supplies often tend to fall short. Sadly, New York based hospitals have only been able to collect around 65 percent of donations compared to the pre pandemic days, which is immensely below what hospitals require.
New York Blood Center’s senior executive director, Andrea Cefarellin mentioned that, there is a massive deficit between the amount of blood that hospitals and blood banks require and the number of people providing blood. Once again, the closing down of college campuses, schools, places of worship etc is a massive contributor to this shortage.
How Blood Supply Shortages affect COVID-19's Treatment & Care
The coronavirus pandemic causes major disruptions to everyday life, restraining people from interacting with their loved ones, changing work locations, canceling plans, and making changes to our lifestyle. With no end to this pandemic in sight, it continues to damage nations, the lack of blood supply being one of the main problems.
As mentioned abundantly, blood supply in the United States may be at an all time low, which is directly impacting the national healthcare system, so much so, that some healthcare facilities are sending out SOSs. Whether it is cancer patients, mothers, their babies, car crash victims, or any other type of patient blood transfusions are a necessity for every hospital. Sure, the quantity of transfusion can be different, depending on the patient’s condition, having an adequate amount of blood supply is essential.
Due to this shortage, doctors are being very careful when choosing whom to provide transfusion to. Needless to say, the doctors in the United States are doing everything to offer people with optimal care, which includes providing the correct quantity of blood to patients who require life saving therapies. Despite that, the supply has been dwindling very quickly, making everybody’s job immensely difficult.
Shortage of Alcohol Prep Pads and Syringes
While healthcare systems in the United States are already struggling with low blood supplies, the shortage of alcohol prep pads and syringes is making things twice as difficult. The race for finding a vaccine is heating up with each passing moment, and because of this, the United States is facing a scarcity of alcohol prep pads and syringes.
The federal government spent millions of dollars, hoping to avoid a syringe shortage but it may not be enough. Scarcity of personal protective equipment is proving to be a massive roadblock for healthcare professionals. There is a huge chance that a vaccine could get emergency approval, which is why experts and industry leaders are warning the United States Government to increase its alcohol pad and syringe supplies to deal with the endless inoculations needed for controlling this pandemic.
Experts also believe that the biggest threat for shortage will be during the 2nd and third waves of the vaccination program. Manufactures will then need to up the capacity significantly just to meet the U.S’s demands. There is no telling when a vaccination program will be approved, which is why it’s extremely important for the government to be proactive and ensure that healthcare facilities receive an adequate amount of protective equipment required to treat everybody without major interruptions.
Blood Donation Sites in the United States
While there is no denying that blood supply in the United States is low, there are plenty of well-reputed blood donation agencies across the country. Here are some of them:
Donations are needed more than ever, especially for treating COVID-19 patients. Send us a picture of your Donate Blood Stickers and receive 25% of your purchase and enter to win a $100 gift card towards XS Supply Products.