BLAIR COUNTY, Pa (WTAJ) – The National Blood shortage isn’t going away, but a community blood drive in Altoona might just help.

The American Red Cross website said it currently has a “dangerously low blood supply” that’s impacted the number of blood transfusions that hospitals can administer.

“The need right now is absolutely critical, recognizing so many of us, are crises out, we hear crisis all the time,” Lisa Landis of the American Red Cross said.

The Red Cross cites the pandemic as a part of the blood shortage. They report a 10% decline in people donating blood and a 62% drop in blood drives at schools and colleges

“This truly was a historic moment for the Red Cross to announce a blood crisis, this is affecting every area of the country, and it is critical,” Landis said.

In addition to the pandemic causing shortages, winter weather conditions that have hit parts of our viewing area are also contributing to the storage across the United States. The Red Cross said it has less than a one-day supply of critical blood types, such as type O. This has resulted in nearly one-quarter of hospital blood supply needs not being hit.

“We just ask donors, you can donate every 56 days, and we encourage you to keep making those appointments and keep coming back,” Landis said.

The Altoona Blood Drive is being held in the Ballroom of the Altoona Grand Hotel from noon to 6 p.m. today, Wednesday, Jan. 26. You can schedule an appointment online or by calling 1-800-733-2767. To register online, enter the code “AltoonaGrand.”

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