Blood shortage causes surgery delays in New England

MONDAY, June 21, 2021 (HealthDay News) – A blood shortage has forced some New England hospitals to delay or reschedule surgeries.

The shortage is due to a combination of factors, including the usual summer drop in blood donations, as well as an increase in surgeries driven by postponed operations during the coronavirus pandemic, officials say.

“We haven’t seen anything like it for about 30 or 40 years at least,” said Dr Vishesh Chhibber, director of transfusion medicine at UMass Memorial Health. Boston Globe.

Although periodic and localized blood shortages are not uncommon, this shortage is “unprecedented in its magnitude,” according to Dr. Claudia Cohn, chief medical officer of the American Association of Blood Banks.

Typically, there is a five-day supply of blood of all types across the country, said Kelly Isenor, spokesperson for the Massachusetts Red Cross. But at the moment, there is only half a day of urgently needed Type O blood supply.

“He comes out faster than he comes in,” Isenor said.

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