(WKBN) – The Pennsylvania Department of Health stressed the importance of blood donations Thursday as the number of regular donors decreased during the pandemic.
Officials from five major blood banks across the state, including the Red Cross spoke out to stress the statewide need.
“There is a critical shortage of blood across Pennsylvania and the nation, as COVID-19 has prevented some donors from giving blood and impacted the scheduling of blood drives. Blood is essential for surgeries, traumatic injuries, cancer treatment and chronic illnesses, which is why it is so important for individuals to go to their local blood bank or find a blood drive near them and donate. An adequate supply of blood is essential to ensure Pennsylvanians have safe, continuous access to the highest quality of health care,” said Acting Physician General Dr. Denise Johnson.
The most commonly requested blood type is O-negative, but all blood types are needed to make sure there is a reliable supply for patients.
Most individuals are eligible to donate blood in Pennsylvania if they are:
- In good health;
- 16 years old or older; and
- Weigh a minimum of 120 pounds.
To donate blood, make an appointment with a local blood bank or visit an upcoming blood drive in your community. More information on blood donation is available at the state health department’s website.