American Red Cross urgently requests donations; blood supply critically low

Posted: Updated:

The American Red Cross is putting out an urgent request for blood donations after announcing that blood supplies are critically low.

“Right now, I think it’s extra important for people to come out and donate if they can,” says blood donor Jennifer Mannheim.

The shortage is due to the cancellation of blood drives around the country due to the coronavirus pandemic.

RELATED: Blood drive nonprofit: Blood banks in desperate need of donations 

“We’ve lost about 170,000 units across the country,” says American Red Cross New Jersey CEO Rosie Taravella.

Photos: The Impact of Coronavirus Around the World

Taravella says that the shortage presents an even great impact on those who have cancer or who suffer a serious injury.

“Imagine you get to the hospital, there’s a bed for you and there no blood on the shelf to help treat you,” she says.

VIRUS TRACKER: New York, New Jersey, Connecticut coronavirus cases and deaths 
MORE: LIVE BLOG - Coronavirus updates from the tri-state area and beyond
MORE: New Jersey Coronavirus Dashboard

Red Cross officials say that there is no need to worry about the virus exposure if one does decide to donate because there are health screenings.

“Everybody who sets foot in this area has to have their temperatures taken before they come in,” Taravella says. “Our staff is following all safety protocols.”

Taravella also says that there is not any evidence that blood transfusions can carry COVID-19.

The Red Cross is asking anyone interested in donating to go online first to check out the safety precautions and other information needed before giving blood.

sorry to interrupt
your first 20 are free
Access to News 12 is free for Optimum, Comcast®, Spectrum Networks® and Service ElectricSM customers.
Please enjoy 20 complimentary views of articles, photos, and videos during the next 30 days.
you have reached your 20 view limit
Access to News 12 is free for Optimum, Comcast®, Spectrum Networks® and Service ElectricSM customers.
Please login or create an account to continue enjoying News12.
Our sign-up page is undergoing maintenance and is not currently available. However, you will be given direct access to while we complete our upgrade.
When we are back up and running you will be prompted at that time to complete your sign in. Until then, enjoy the local news, weather, traffic and more that's "as local as local news gets."