Reasons why there is a blood shortage:
1) Less and less donors. Potential and young American donors (17-25) do not donate blood because they have plenty of excuses. Some of them are afraid of needles while others are uncomfortable answering questionnaire that involves sex. In 2009, only ten of the 37% were qualified blood donors and most of them were fifty years of age.
2) Discriminatory practices. Banning homosexuals, people with tattoo and people who regularly travel is one of the causes of blood scarcity. Those with tattoos in any part of their body in the past twelve months and those who have traveled outside the country in less than three months are immediately deferred. They are just advised to come back after a year. According to Centers for Disease Control, about 219,000 pints of blood were rejected in 2010 just because the donations were made by gay and bisexual men.
3) Hurricanes and storms. Hundreds of community blood drives were cancelled when a big blizzard hit Wisconsin in 2011. That time, the BloodCenter of Wisconsin experienced emergency and it immediately needed the participation of 800 qualified donors to meet the daily needs of their local hospitals.
4) Ineffective Promotions. In 2007, Greece suffered shortages in blood due to poor recruitment process. If the country wanted more blood donors, their government must provide effective promotional system to targeted groups (young and women).
According to American Red Cross, over 38,000 blood donations are needed daily. There is also a total of 29 million units of all blood components (red blood cells, platelets and plasma) that is transfused every year. In fact, the volume of blood transfused to patients since 2001 continued to escalate annually by six percent.
Can you just imagine if there are only eight million American blood donors in the country and this crisis in blood supply never stops? Do you think there’s other way of solving it?
None. Giving is the only way and it comes from generous donors like you. You can change the situation!
In fact, the American Red Cross has a goal – that is – if they can increase the share of the eligible donors and they can motivate these eight million potential donors as to why they need to donate blood three times in a year, blood shortages would be rare.