MYRTLE BEACH, S.C. (WBTW) — The American Red Cross is facing a severe blood shortage.
The Red Cross said the shortage is forcing changes at hospitals across the country.
“Some hospitals are being forced to slow the pace of elective surgeries until the blood supply stabilizes, delaying crucial patient care,” the Red Cross said in a news release.
Meg Heath, the account manager at the Myrtle Beach Red Cross Blood and Platelet Donation Center in Carolina Forest, said a combination of factors is to blame for the shortage.
“People are out,” Heath said. “They’re enjoying life a little bit. They’re taking their families on vacation, so they’re not really thinking about the need for blood right now, but we’re also using so much more blood right now.”
The Red Cross pointed out some of the reasons behind the increased use of blood.
“[Hospitals have been] responding to an unusually high number of traumas and emergency room visits, as well as overdoses and resulting transplants,” the Red Cross said.
The organization is urging people of all blood types to donate as soon as possible and will give donors thank you gifts through the end of July.