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Red Cross warns of 'historically low' blood supply levels, staffing challenges
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The Red Cross is calling on healthy Americans to donate blood as the nation is facing "historically low" supply levels.
"Blood centers across the country are reporting less than a one-day’s supply of blood. If the nation’s blood supply does not stabilize soon, some patients requiring transfusion may not receive the blood products they need," a Red Cross spokesperson told FOX Business on Wednesday. "Donors of all blood types – particularly type O blood, the most needed blood group by hospitals – and platelets are needed now to avert the need to potentially postpone lifesaving treatments."
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The Red Cross first sounded the alarm on the nation's blood supply earlier this month in a joint statement with the Association for Blood and Biotherapies (AABB) and America's Blood Centers.
According to the statement, blood donations typically decrease during the winter months due to travel, inclement weather and seasonal illnesses. In the U.S., more than 16 million units of blood and blood products are transfused annually with more than 45,000 units needed daily. Blood can take up to three days to be tested, processed and made available for patients.