KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Community Blood Center has declared a blood emergency due to cold and flu season, and a decrease in people donating blood.
CBC says it had around 2,000 fewer people donate blood in January 2023 than the same month last year.
Blood donations are below hospital needs. One factor CBC says is contributing to the emergency, is the drop in first-time and youth donors.
There are about half the number of young and first-time donors as there were prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, according to CBC.
CBC Vice President Patsy Shipley is encouraging those who have never donated blood before to take the time to help others.
"If you’ve never donated before, we invite you to experience the rewarding act of blood donation," Shipley said in a statement. "You’ll make a difference in the life of a patient as well as those who love them."
She also says a lack of blood donations is not uncommon during this time of year.
“Each winter, we struggle to get folks to donate blood and this year is no exception. We need more people to make blood donations, host blood drives and spread the word about the need for donations,” Shipley said.
CBC also says there is a need for platelet donors, which support new mothers, patients being treated with chemotherapy and people with bleeding disorders, among others.
Platelet donations have a shelf life of only seven days.
Blood donations can be given once every 56 days, while platelet donations can be given twice a month.
To schedule a blood donation appointment, visit the CBC's website.
Those interested can also check if they are eligible to donate blood online.