Blood supply shortages continues to hit the nation hard, including in Johnson County, causing aid organizations in the area to sound the alarm.
According to the American Red Cross of Greater Kansas City, blood donor turnout has reached the lowest levels of the year.
The organization attributes this, in part, to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, as people who may normally donate have delayed giving.
“Fall is typically a time when the blood supply rebounds as donors are more available to give than during the busy summer months, but this year has presented a unique and serious challenge,” Dr. Pampee Young, chief medical officer for the Red Cross, said in a release.
The Red Cross is not the only organization struggling to have donors come out and give in the area this time of year.
The Kansas City-based Community Blood Center announced they are also worried about blood supply.
Earlier this month, the center, which has been serving the greater Kansas City area for more than 60 years, announced on their Facebook page that the local supply had dropped to a less than three-day supply of readily available blood.
“We thought we’d see our local blood supply recover with the return of school blood drives in the fall, but fears surrounding the Delta variant are presenting significant obstacles,” said executive director of Community Blood Center Patsy Shipley.
Without their usual donations from events like high school blood drives, Shipley said the center is struggling to maintain the usual seven-day blood supply the center wants to have.
Blood types O positive and O negative blood are strongly encouraged to give as they are the most needed blood types by hospitals, Young said.
To give blood through the Community Blood Center, donors can schedule a date and time to donate here.
The Red Cross is also hosting several blood drives around Johnson County in coming weeks.
You can enter your ZIP code here to see upcoming drives near you, including on:
- 10/4/2021: 12:30 p.m. – 6:30 p.m., Olathe Indian Creek Library, 16100 W 135th St (Olathe)
- 10/5/2021: 2 p.m. – 6 p.m., Menorah Medical Center, 5721 W. 119th Street (Overland Park)
- 10/6/2021: 10 a.m. – 2:30 p.m., Oak Park Branch, 9500 Bluejacket St (Overland Park)
- 10/8/2021: 10 a.m. – 3:30 p.m., GT Distributors, 10567 Metcalf Ave (Overland Park)
- 10/8/2021: 10:30 a.m. – 3:30 p.m., Medical Plaza West, 12200 W 106th Street (Overland Park)
- 10/11/2021: 12 p.m. – 6 p.m., Journey Bible Church, 13700 151st St (Olathe)
- 10/11/2021: 2 p.m. – 6 p.m., Filipino Cultural Center, 9810 W. 79th St. (Overland Park)
- 10/12/2021: 9 a.m. – 2 p.m., Corporate Woods, Building 75, 10800 Farley Dr, Suite 130 (Overland Park)
- 10/13/2021: 9 a.m. – 2 p.m., Ad Astra, 6900 W 80th Street, #300 (Overland Park)
- 10/13/2021: 1 p.m. – 6 p.m., Johnson County Democrats, 8971 W 75th St. (Overland Park)
- 10/15/2021: 12 p.m. – 5 p.m., Genesis Health Clubs – Merriam, 6501 E. Frontage (Mission)
In Kansas, donors need to be at least 17 years old, weigh at least 110 pounds and be in generally good health.
If you have had COVID-19, you are asked to donate only if you have been symptom-free for at least 14 days and to not donate if you are currently in quarantine for a positive test or potential exposure.
“A robust blood supply is essential for our health care system to function and we must do everything we can to strengthen it at this time of uncertainty,” Shipley said.