ALBANY, N.Y. (NEWS10) – The American Red Cross is reporting the most severe blood shortage the organization has faced in the last decade or more. The organization declared a national blood crisis says the recent snowstorm has made it even more challenging to get people to donate.

“Every two seconds someone needs blood and that could be someone in our area hospitals battling cancer who needs platelets or a new mother giving birth that needs a transfusion — so the need is constant, and we really need the public to show up,” said Kevin Coffey, CEO at American Red Cross Eastern New York Region. The Red Cross is always in need of more supply. Experts say one donation can save up to three lives. “37% of the population can donate blood but less than 10% do,” added Kevin.

January is National Blood Donor Month, and CEOs from the Capital Region are joining the American Red Cross to “battle” the blood shortage and encourage people to donate. The concern is rising for the nation’s blood supply, which has dipped to concerning levels and could force hospitals to hold off on essential blood and platelet transfusions. Donors of all blood types – particularly type O blood, the most needed blood group by hospitals – and platelets are still needed daily to meet demand. “The idea is for us to battle and see how can bring in the most blood,” said Ellen Sax, Vice President of Community Engagement, MVP Health Care. 

The inaugural Capital Region Blood Battle, drives will be held as a series of bi-weekly blood drives to collect life-saving blood products for patients in need. The CEOs of participating companies will engage in a friendly competition to encourage the greatest number of donors. A running tally will be shared on the Red Cross of Eastern New York social media platforms and the winner will be announced in March as part of Red Cross Month. The drives will be held every other Friday from 8 a.m. – 6 p.m. at the American Red Cross located at 33 Everett Road, Albany.

UPCOMING 2022 Capital Region Blood Battle Dates and Sponsors:

  • January 21- MVP Health Care
  • February 4 – Living Resources
  • February 18 – Whitney M. Young Jr. Health Center
  • March 4 – Stewart’s Shops
  • March 18 – Albany Medical Hospital

“All of us know someone that will need blood at some point,” said Kathy Boden, Account Representative and Donor Recruitment at American Red Cross Eastern New York Region. Kathy Boden loves being a part of the red cross and supports the mission. She almost lost her brother Craig Jenkins last year. Craig was involved in a motorcycle accident on Father’s Day and she says he is extremely lucky to be alive today.

If a donor is eligible and feeling well, they can make an appointment today by visiting RedCrossBlood.org (sponsor code: bloodbattle), using the Red Cross Blood Donor App or calling 1-800-RED CROSS (1-800-733-2767).