The American Red Cross is experiencing an emergency blood and platelet shortage, according to a spokesperson for the Connecticut and Rhode Island region.
"This is the lowest the inventory has been this time of year since 2015," said Jocelyn Hillard, the communications director for the American Red Cross CT and RI region.
Hillard said that the fall season is usually a busy time of year when they see the number of donors rebound from the quieter summer months. This year is different. They have been tracking a decrease in donors since Covid-19 case numbers started spiking in Connecticut in August.
According to the Red Cross, they need 10,000 additional blood products each week over the next month for the blood supply to recover and meet hospital and patient needs.
Daniela Ciriello, 9, has a genetic disorder and depends on blood transfusions every three weeks to live.
"This is a constant need," said Daniel Ciriello, Daniela's dad. "With out the kindness and generosity of strangers donating that blood she wouldn't be alive and obviously, from a family standpoint, we would be lost without her."
A spokesperson for the Connecticut Hospital Association said their members have not been directly impacted by the shortage at this point, but they are concerned. The CHA is joining the Red Cross in urging people to donate.
To learn more about how to make an appointment, visit the Red Cross website. You can search for a blood drive by location. You can also call 1-800-RED CROSS (1-800-733-2767).
Donors are asked to wear face masks at blood drives regardless of vaccination status. The Red Cross has implemented additional safety protocols.