New York - New York is in a state of emergency when it comes to the blood supply.
"The pandemic has just created a chronic deficit," said Andrea Cefarelli, senior executive director of recruitment and marketing for the New York Blood Center.
Due to the pandemic, all the blood drives were put on hold and still haven't resumed at workplaces, schools, and other public places. This resulted in a great shortage of blood supply.
As the supply depletes, the demand is now skyrocketing. Cefarelli said hospitals in the New York City area are feeling the pinch.
"We've got all these patients that have waited for three, five, six, seven months to have necessary surgery, and that backlog is nowhere, so the surge for surgical volume, operative volume is very real," said Dr. Paresh Shah, surgeon-in-chief of NYU Langone Health.
NYU Langone staff staved off a critical shortage by staging their own blood drive.
"There was a period of time where it was very much up in the air if we could continue normal operations, even scheduled surgeries, because of the shortage of blood supply and blood products," Shah said.
Elsewhere in the country, hospitals have had to delay non-essential surgeries because of low blood supply.
The blood supply has always been lower during the summer due to travel. However, this summer may be an even slower one due to people getting vaccinated and going for their much-needed vacations.
"Our predictions are [that] we're going to be in an austere state for blood for really the foreseeable future," Shah said.
Before the pandemic, there was around an average of 550 blood drives a month that the New York Blood Center was hosting. Now that number has come down to 350. Officials say that if anyone would like to host a blood drive at any public places like schools, places of worship, etc, they can contact the center and gladly cooperate with them. Visit NYBC.org for more information.
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