The Blood Has Been Drained

A lack of blood donations is causing issues nationwide.


Grace Swanson, Reporter

In January of 2022, the Red Cross announced that it is currently experiencing the worst blood shortage in over a decade. The Red Cross released a statement saying, “The dangerously low blood supply levels have forced some hospitals to defer patients from major surgery, including organ transplants.” The shortage of blood donations could cause delays in vital medical treatments across the nation. 

There are many reasons why the nation is experiencing a shortage of blood. Since March of 2020, there has been a 10 percent decrease in overall blood donations. Due to the pandemic, there has been a 62 percent decrease in college and high school blood drives. In past years, students accounted for 25 percent of overall donations, but since the start of the pandemic, this has reduced to just 10 percent. 

The Red Cross supplies 40 percent of the nation’s blood supply, but due to the recent shortage in donations, they have had to limit the distribution of blood to hospitals. This restricts medical care to patients who need blood for their treatment. 

Each year, Elkhorn High School hosts a blood drive in hopes of getting students to sign up to donate.  

“There were around 100 total appointments this year, which includes some parents and staff members,” math teacher Ronda Habrock said. “The number of students is a bit lower partly because Elkhorn North opened last year, and we lost a big senior class.” 

Hopefully, as time goes by and the school adjusts to how it was before the split, the number of student donors will increase again. 

According to Habrock, the biggest reasons that people are unwilling to sign up to donate blood are the initial fears of needles and passing out. These factors deter many people away from even considering donating blood. 

The school tried to make people aware of the blood drive by sending recruiters to homerooms, emailing students, posting on social media, and putting the link out there for people to sign up. The main goal of these efforts was to make sure that anyone who wanted to donate was aware of the drive and had the ability to sign up for it. 

The American Red Cross has a critical need for blood and platelet donations to help prevent further delays in medical treatments. They are hoping to end the blood crisis by encouraging more people to volunteer and donate.

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