Here’s one way to roll up your sleeve and make a difference during this pandemic I Give Tuesday.

America faces a critical blood supply shortage this winter, largely due to COVID-19-related closures canceling blood drives, as well as wildfires in the West and hurricanes and storms. severe storms in the south further disrupting donations.

The AABB (formerly the American Association of Blood Banks), America’s Blood Centers and the American Red Cross recently issued a joint statement warning that blood centers nationwide have reported “significant drops” in blood collections this year.

Someone in this country needs a blood transfusion every two seconds, according to the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). While the growing number of COVID cases and hospitalizations across the country has made headlines this year, that doesn’t mean all other medical emergencies have ended. People are still undergoing surgeries and organ transplants, for example, which require a supply of blood. And donated blood is a lifeline for people, including victims of car crashes and other emergencies, as well as cancer patients who may need blood products to boost their immune systems.

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Still, the Red Cross, which supplies around 40% of the country’s blood, told MarketWatch that more than 50,000 blood drives have been canceled since March as the pandemic has forced schools, businesses and community organizations out. close, which impacted over a million blood donations. Appointment. And Red Cross Blood Services must collect 13,000 donations per day to meet the needs of the hospitals and the patients they serve.

American blood centers warns on his site that 15 of its community blood centers have only a day’s supply or less.

New York Mayor Bill de Blasio also called on New Yorkers to donate blood during a Tuesday Giving press conference, warning that the city’s blood banks only had enough supplies for three days – less than half of the goal of maintaining seven days of blood. The Big Apple hopes to raise an additional 25,000 pints of blood by New Year’s Eve – and the city sweetens the deal for donors by offering them prizes, like the chance to win a VIP tour of the Empire State Building . Coach’s Club tickets to a New York Jets football game and a year-long supply of Krispy Kreme donuts.

“The current blood supply is reduced to a few days – just a few days,” de Blasio said. “This is really a very, very urgent situation. “

The Red Cross has also partnered with country music star Martina McBride and Suburban Propane to encourage Americans to donate blood. Those who donate blood, platelets and plasma through December 15 have the chance to win an outdoor living experience: a socially distanced celebration with friends and family that includes a propane pizza oven, fire pit , an outdoor heater and a propane allowance.

While the canceled blood drives have been the biggest blow to the supply of many blood banks, fear of contracting the coronavirus has also prevented some from donating blood.

Health officials have encouraged Americans to continue donating blood throughout the pandemic. US Surgeon General Jerome Adams said: “You can still go out and donate blood. We are concerned about possible blood shortages in the future. Social distancing doesn’t necessarily mean social disengagement. ” Both FDA and the Centers for Disaster Control and Prevention have also issued statements urging healthy people to donate blood if they can. Even if you shelter in place, you can leave the house to do “essential” things such as buying food, collecting medicine, and donating blood.

Additionally, the American Red Cross is testing all donated blood, platelets, and plasma for COVID-19 antibodies, as convalescent plasma from whole blood donations that test positive for coronavirus could be used to treat patients. Current COVID-19 who are seriously ill.

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If you have any questions about donating blood during the pandemic, this article explains what you need to know about donating blood right now and also dispels some common myths – no, you won’t be tested for coronavirus when you do. a donation, for example. This is where you can get tested and what to expect.

If you would like to donate blood, the following organizations can put you in touch with a local blood donor site to make an appointment. In addition, some centers may arrange to call your cell phone when they are ready to welcome you, to minimize your time in the waiting room.

AABB: aabb.org

American blood centers:americasblood.org

American Red Cross: redcrossblood.org

Armed Forces Blood Program:Militaryblood.dod.mil

Blood Centers of America:bca.coop

And if you’re looking for other ways to give back over the holidays, here’s how your Give Tuesday donations can help with the COVID-19 immunization rollout.