Local blood drive hopes to alleviate dangerously low blood levels

With+blood+supply+dangerously+low+across+the+country%2C+Westport%E2%80%99s+VFW+recently+held+a+blood+drive.

Photo from Flickr

With blood supply dangerously low across the country, Westport’s VFW recently held a blood drive.

Finnegan Courtney ’23, News Editor

The United States, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, is facing an unprecedented low blood supply, with some types being well below the levels considered acceptable. Recently, Westport held a local blood drive in memory of Lance Corporal Charles M. Rochlin at the VFW in hopes of helping to replenish the depleted supply.

Donor turnout has reached the lowest levels of the year, decreasing by about 10% since August. Those who are eligible to donate are urged to do so now to help overcome this current shortage.”

— The American Red Cross

 

“The 14th VFW Post 399 Red Cross blood drive held on October 12th exceeded our expectations with over 54 donors,” Retired Lieutenant Commander Phil Delgado, the Quartermaster of VFW Post 399, said. “The Joseph J. Clinton VFW Post 399 cadre of veteran volunteers (www.vfw399ct.org) mission is to support veterans and community by continuing to schedule blood drives every month due to [the] critical blood shortage.”

According to the Red Cross, people who donated blood, platelets, or plasma during the month of October received an offer for a free sandwich from the restaurant chain Zaxby’s. However, given that there is not a Zaxby’s location close to Westport, the Red Cross also announced that those who don’t live close to one can receive a $5 gift card to a merchant of their choice.

“As the nation returns to in-person workplaces and schools amid a surge in COVID-19 cases, the American Red Cross faces an emergency blood and platelet shortage,” The Red Cross wrote in a recent press release. “Donor turnout has reached the lowest levels of the year, decreasing by about 10% since August. Those who are eligible to donate are urged to do so now to help overcome this current shortage.”

The Red Cross also recently reported that due to pandemic-related circumstances, red cell demand from hospitals with trauma centers climbed by 10%, over five times the growth of other facilities that do blood transfusions.