HARRISBURG, Pa. (WHTM) — Central Pennsylvania is facing its lowest blood supplies over the past 30 years.

The Central Pennsylvania Blood Bank says over 600 blood drives have been canceled resulting in a loss of over 11,000 blood donations since March. This same scenario is playing out across the country as the nation continues to grapple with the pandemic.

It is increasingly important to encourage all healthy and eligible blood donors to make and keep
appointments. “We need people to start turning out in force to give blood.” That urgent call-to-action coming from Peter Marks, M.D., Ph.D., director of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA) Center for BiologicsEvaluation and Research, as fear about the coronavirus is keeping people from wanting to donate blood.

The Central Pennsylvania Blood Bank says the lack of blood is causing extreme stress on local hospitals, as patient needs continue to remain at high levels.

The blood bank says normally when they are experiencing a blood shortage they can reach out to other centers across the country for help but with the pandemic there is a nationwide shortage.

“We are facing a national blood supply issue. Blood centers around the country are experiencing a significant decrease in donations,” said Kate Fry, CEO of America’s Blood Centers, an organization that represents nearly 50 blood centers throughout the United States and Canada, and collects close to 60% of the nation’s blood supply.

Central Pennsylvania Blood Bank is the primary supplier of blood and blood components for the Midstate and needs to collect over 200 units every day to satisfy the needs of local patients

The blood bank is working alongside the FDA, CDC and local public health departments to implement additional safety measures.

Central Pennsylvania Blood Bank says blood donations are more important now than ever, as it’s the blood on the shelf that saves lives.

To schedule an appointment to donate blood:
Phone: 1-800-771-0059
Email: CentralPennBloodBank@cpbb.org
Website: cpbb.org/