Blood shortages delay some procedures at Duke Health

Coronavirus

RALEIGH, N.C. (WNCN) – A critical blood shortage is prompting Duke Health to reschedule and delay some procedures. The hospital told CBS 17 it’s due a national blood shortage.

The Red Cross has reported it has had less than a one-day supply of blood in recent weeks. They said the ideally they’d have a five-day supply. At Duke Health, Dr. Nicholas Bandarenko, director of transfusion services, said the hospital had up to a four-day supply pre-pandemic.

Bandarenko said staffing shortages due to COVID-19, fewer school blood drives, and fewer donors are to blame for the issue. He said they have to make hard choices daily for what patients need blood right away and who can wait. Bandarenko said they have to delay procedures once or twice a week to account for the shortage.

“Nobody wakes up in the morning thinking they’re going to be the next victim of a car accident or trauma that needs blood. So every one of us, and those that we love, could be affected by this. So, we need everyone out there donating that’s eligible,” Bandarenko said.

Bandarenko added that blood can be donated through the Red Cross or The Blood Connection. He said blood is a shared resource and both organizations supply blood to central North Carolina hospitals.

“We do need more donors to show up. Those that donated in the past that haven’t donated this year, please call Red Cross and make a scheduled donation as soon as possible. It’s safe to donate. You’re not going to get COVID from donating and all the donor centers are using COVID-19 protocols with social distancing and masking, etcetera,” Bandarenko said.

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