BAR HARBOR — The American Red Cross is reporting the worst nationwide blood shortage in more than a decade and blood supplies are dangerously low for many Maine hospitals. Concerns over rising COVID-19 hospitalizations due to the omicron variant have only heightened concern around the national blood crisis.
“This has a direct impact on patient care, including right here on Mount Desert Island,” said MDI Hospital President/CEO Chrissi Maguire. “Blood and platelet donations are critically needed to help prevent delays in vital medical treatments. We’re asking everyone in our community who is able to consider giving blood to help address this ongoing shortage.”
Currently, hospitals may only order limited amounts of blood product each week due to the short supply. While MDI Hospital has been able to keep its inventory close to normal range so far, just one patient crisis could result in local shortages and delayed surgeries or procedures due to current resupply limits, according to a hospital press release.
Local blood drives will be held Tuesday, Feb. 8 and Feb. 22, from noon to 6 p.m. at the Ellsworth Elks Lodge No. 2743, 317 High St., Ellsworth, and Tuesday, March 1, from 10 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. at the Atlantic Oceanside, 119 Eden St., Bar Harbor.
For more information or to schedule a time to make your donation at a Red Cross Donor Blood Center, call 1-800-RED-CROSS or visit www.redcrossblood.org.