NATIONWIDE — Blood donation centers nationwide are seeing the lowest donor turnout in more than a year.
The shortage is in part due to the pandemic, said Tara Rabideau, transfusion service manager at Northern Light Eastern Maine Medical Center.
Rabideau said medical facilities had to get creative in how to recruit donors and hold the blood drives. She said summer is typically a difficult time to get donations, too.
“There’s no substitute for blood products, especially for our emergency or trauma patients,” she said. “So we need to make sure there is always blood on the shelves for those essential transfusions.”
Rabideau said one unit of blood could help up to four people.
Some medications require that people wait a few weeks before donating, but those who received the COVID-19 vaccine don’t have to wait.
Donors can sign up on the American Red Cross website at redcrossblood.org.