Detroit Regional Chamber > Member News > Red Cross Facing a National Blood Shortage

Red Cross Facing a National Blood Shortage

September 13, 2023
Red Cross Facing a National Blood Shortage
Donors needed now as hospital demand outpaces blood donations.

DETROIT (Sept. 11, 2023) – The American Red Cross is experiencing a national blood shortage. Fewer donors than needed gave this summer, drawing down the national blood supply and reducing distributions of some of the most needed blood types to hospitals. Hurricane Idalia further strained the blood supply with blood drive cancellations and reduced blood and platelet donations in affected areas.

Donors of all blood types are urgently needed, especially platelet donors and type O blood donors, to ensure patients in Michigan and across the country continue to receive critical medical care.

When Idalia slammed into the Southeast – leading to widespread power outages, travel hazards and flooding – the storm also forced the cancellation of over a dozen blood drives and caused hundreds of blood and platelet donations to go uncollected. This compounded a shortfall of about 30,000 donations in August. Right now, blood product distributions to hospitals are outpacing the number of blood donations coming in.

“We want to reassure the community that the Red Cross is working with hospitals around-the-clock to meet the blood needs of patients,” said Mary Lynn Foster, regional CEO, American Red Cross Michigan Region. “However, we can’t do it alone. We need the public’s help and the generosity of blood donors.”

To schedule an appointment, download the Red Cross Blood Donor App, visit or call 1-800-RED CROSS (1-800-733-2767).

“Giving blood is truly a selfless act,” said Jamila Wilson, a blood donor services account manager, American Red Cross Michigan Region. “It doesn’t take that long, and by doing so, it can make a huge impact.”

In thanks for helping rebuild the blood supply, those who give blood throughout September will receive a coupon by email for a free haircut, thanks to Sport Clips Haircuts. Plus, they’ll be automatically entered for a chance to win a VIP NASCAR racing experience. Details are available at In addition, those who give by Sept. 18 will receive a limited-edition Red Cross T-shirt, while supplies last.

Sickle Cell Awareness Month

September is Sickle Cell Awareness Month, a time to raise awareness about sickle cell disease and boost access to matching blood products for patients living with sickle cell.

Sickle cell patients may require as many as 100 units of blood every year to maintain their quality of life. Without these transfusions, a person’s blood does not flow normally, putting them at risk for severe pain, tissue and organ damage, anemia – even strokes.

Blood donors who are Black are almost three times more likely to be a match for the blood most needed.


MEDIA CONTACT: David Olejarz / / 313-303-0606

About the American Red Cross:
The American Red Cross shelters, feeds and provides comfort to victims of disasters; supplies about 40% of the nation’s blood; teaches skills that save lives; distributes international humanitarian aid; and supports veterans, military members and their families. The Red Cross is a nonprofit organization that depends on volunteers and the generosity of the American public to deliver its mission. For more information, please visit or, or visit us on Twitter at @RedCross.