In the wake of recent disasters, be it hurricanes, forest fires, or earthquakes, it comes as no surprise that the Red Cross critically needs blood donations. Previous donors receive almost daily alerts regarding the blood shortage crisis. The text messages provide a direct link to sign up for a donation, the calls connect you to a representative, and the voicemails encourage you to call back. As this recent spike in contact suggests, the scarcity of blood severely inhibits the Red Cross.
It began in July, before the influx of natural disasters. The lack of resource continues today, and now organizations are in dire need of all blood types for the victims of a seemingly endless stream of tropical storms. The months of late summer to mid-fall are considered the Atlantic hurricane season, with the month of September being, historically, most active. That being, it is imperative the Red Cross receives enough of each blood type in order to supply sufficient medical care during this ongoing and critical time.
Many areas affected by the weather cannot maintain complete disaster relief due to property damage, and lack of resources only complicates the issue. This leaves impaired areas unable to give basic care to average patients, as well. For this reason, places physically unaffected are encouraged to take responsibility and provide what they can: currently, that means blood. Cleveland High School, among many others, is donating to a local blood bank through blood drives.
Cleveland held the drive on Friday, Sept. 25 from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. The event, fittingly, is organized by the Health Occupations Students of America (HOSA). Their advisor, AK Peterson, health teacher, noted that out of 100 available slots to donate, 92 were filled by Friday morning. Blood Works, a local blood bank, hosted the event. According to a representative, “local banks provide 60 percent of the total donated blood, while the Red Cross supplies the remaining 40 percent.”
With this in mind, it is paramount that local communities support those in need, just as Cleveland did this past week. Furthermore, we must provide care not only during the hurricane season, but as the months progress. This shortage will not go away by itself— only acts of generosity through blood donation centers will help end this crisis.