The Blood Connection is the exclusive blood provider for every Upstate hospital and things are looking dire.
Since the beginning of April, The Blood Connection has seen historically-low donor turnout.
Well, during the 31 days of May, donations met the minimum need of 800 units-per-day only 17 times.
By contrast, during the 31 days of May, 2020 — among the darkest days of the pandemic — donations met the minimum need 26 times.
And that’s not good, because The Blood Connection has some critical quotas to meet. Because of the low donation levels, they’ve had to back-order blood products which has affected 12 of their hospital partners in May alone, three of them in the Upstate.
In short, The Blood Connection has fallen way behind in donations over the past few months. In fact, donation numbers have never been this low for such a long period of time in the history of the organization. The frustrating thing is that they can’t figure out why this is happening.
“We can’t put our finger on the reasons,” says Allie Van Dyke of The Blood Connection. “We just find it so challenging to convince people to come and donate blood. They might hear our message, but what we’re seeing is that people are not actually coming to our Bloodmobiles or to our donor centers to donate blood.”
The consequences are dire if the shortage continues, including rationing blood supplies as early as the end of summer, meaning that you or your loved ones might not get the blood you need in the event of an accident or a medical procedure.
So what can you do to help? Well, you can donate blood obviously, but you can also offer to host a blood drive, and not just at a place of business.
“What we’re really almost begging for at this point is dedicated blood drive hosts,” Van Dyke says.
And all you have to do to take part is head to bloodconnection.org/host and fill out a form. After that, The Blood Connection will handle everything else.
The only solution to this problem is within our communities because blood must be donated. The situation is bad, and it’s getting worse by the day. So please consider giving blood today or hosting a blood drive. You might literally be saving a life.