The US suffers an “emergency” due to a blood shortage. If you donate in January you can win tickets to the Super Bowl

The United States faces a health “emergency” due to a shortage of blood supplies and a drop in the number of people willing to donate, a scenario that threatens to delay and prevent medical procedures throughout the country, the American Red Cross warned this Monday in an alarming statement.

The nation has seen drop by 40% in the number of people who donate blood, placing the amount of donations at their lowest levels in the last 20 years, the organization detailed. The consequence is that reserves are at a critically low level.

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“Even small disruptions in blood donations (like the shortfall of nearly 7,000 units the Red Cross experienced between Christmas and New Year) can have a huge impact on the availability of blood products and dramatic consequences for those who need a blood transfusion.” emergency,” warned Dr. Eric Gehrie, executive medical director of the American Red Cross.

“In recent weeks, the Red Cross has had to limit distributions of type O blood products (among the blood types with the most transfusions) to hospitals,” the expert added.

The US has seen the number of people donating blood drop by 40%, placing the number of donations at their lowest levels in the last 20 years.Peter Dazeley/Getty Images

Doctors warn that the situation is of particular concern at a time when the United States faces health challenges such as seasonal respiratory illnesses, which cause health complications for many.

According to the American Cancer Society, almost two million people in the country were diagnosed with this disease in 2023. Many of them need blood, sometimes daily, during their chemotherapy treatments.

For this reason, the Red Cross urged in its statement “donors of all types, especially those with type O blood and those who donate platelets, to donate now.”

Typically, during a blood donation, one unit of blood is collected, according to Brigham and Women’s Hospital. Most adults have between 10 and 12 units of blood in their bodies. The Red Cross estimates that a single car accident victim may need up to 100 units.

Several factors have made it challenging to maintain and grow a base of motivated blood donors: one of these was the COVID-19 pandemic.

Since the confinement periods, some places that used to host blood donation campaigns in physical locations such as university campuses or companies stopped doing so, as many remained remote.

The call from the Red Cross to donate occurs precisely in January, National Blood Donation Month. The organization is inviting those interested in donating to schedule an appointment downloading the app Red Cross Blood Donor, visiting the website, or by calling 1-800-RED CROSS (1-800-733-2767).

Those who donate blood, platelets or plasma this January have the opportunity to win a trip for two to the Super Bowl, which will be held this February 11 in Las Vegas, Nevada, and will have Usher as the main artist in the halftime show.