(Healthday News) — Demand for blood is up 10% in the United States, and some U.S hospitals are postponing surgeries due to shortages.
Experts say the situation is a consequence of the COVID-19 pandemic, CBS News reported. Before COVID-19 shutdowns, schools accounted for 25% of collected blood.
NYU Langone Health in New York City came close to delaying scheduled surgeries, surgeon-in-chief Paresh Shah, MD, said. “There’s this huge backlog of operations that really needed to get done,” Shah told CBS News. “We were down to such a low inventory of blood that if we had one major transfusion event, we would have been depleted completely.”
Some US blood centers have only a one-day supply. OneBlood, the Southeast’s largest blood center, is struggling to deal with the blood shortage.
“It’s a 24/7 operation,” Susan Forbes of OneBlood told CBS News. “The donors are not in the traditional locations anymore. We lost large corporations, religious organizations, movie theater drives, festivals that were taking place ended.”