Red Cross: Blood shortage may lead to delay of medical procedures

YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio (WYTV) – With a nationwide blood shortage, the American Red Cross has a critical need for blood donors.

“We have a critical shortage this time of year, and so that is possibly delaying procedures for people who need that blood,” said Melissa Papini, the local Red Cross’ Disaster Program manager.

There is high demand for blood type O negative donors because O negative is the universal blood type. It can be given to patients of any blood type.

The Red Cross also needs type B negative, because it is so rare.

“There are so many ways that you can be a hero for complete strangers,” Papini said.

Giving blood is one of those ways.

Papini said it’s something that costs you nothing and can be done in less than 30 minutes.

In Ohio and Pennsylvania, you must be 17 years old, or 16 with parental consent. You must weigh at least 110 pounds.

Need more information on where to donate? There’s an app for that.

It’s called Blood Donor and it’s available for Android and IOS devices. It’s free to download.

“It lets me know what blood type I am, when the last time I donated was,” Papini said.

Also on the app, you can find blood drives and donation centers near you. You can even schedule your next donation with the click of a button.

“It also tracks where my blood donation goes so I know that my blood donation ended up in a hospital in Texas recently, and I thought, ‘How cool!’ I don’t know these people at all,” Papini said.

To download, text BLOODAPP to 90999 or search “Red Cross Blood” in your app store.