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Yahoo! Life: What’s Behind the Current Blood Shortage? Here’s What You Need to Know About This ‘Often-Invisible Emergency’

Yahoo! Life recently interviewed Ellen Klapper, MD, director of Transfusion Medicine and Blood Donor Services at Cedars-Sinai, about what is causing a national blood shortage that started over the summer and how to help.

The American Red Cross announced in September that already-low blood supplies had dropped by 25% since early August, creating what the organization called an “often-invisible emergency.” Someone in the U.S. needs blood every two seconds.

Blood shortages typically happen during busy travel seasons and extreme weather events, such as the recent hurricanes in Florida and along the East Coast. But post-pandemic changes also are to blame, Klapper, professor of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine, told Yahoo! Life.

“For example, a growing number of people have switched to working remotely, making them less available to participate in blood drives at their workplaces,” Klapper told Yahoo! Life, adding that young donors also are giving blood less often. “Prior to the pandemic, blood collections from high schools and universities accounted for the largest percentage of yearly donations, but this trend was upended during the pandemic as schools adopted a remote learning model.”

Klapper told Yahoo! Life that hospitals often have blood donor programs, and she urged Angelenos to participate.

“Cedars-Sinai Blood Donor Services is ready to coordinate a community blood drive anywhere in Southern California,” she said. “Just one blood donation can save up to three lives.”

Find a nearby blood drive or donate blood at Cedars-Sinai by registering online at donatebloodcedars.org or calling 310-423-4170.

Click here to read the complete article from Yahoo! Life.