Critical blood shortage declared emergency

While the Red Cross has declared an emergency on blood, a group in North Jackson, Ohio is holding a blood drive.

YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio (WKBN) – Low levels of donated blood have the American Red Cross declaring a blood emergency.

The recent historic storm across much of the Midwest and eastern United States canceled hundreds of blood drives. The Red Cross says it needs to collect 14,000 blood donations every day in order to meet the average need of hospitals across the nation.

Locally, blood drives are used to supply area hospitals; if there’s enough to meet local need, blood is then sent on to where it’s needed most around the nation.

Maggie Garland was donating blood Thursday at Jackson-Milton High School. She knows first-hand the importance of giving blood.

“I had a surgery a couple of months ago and it really opened my eyes about donating and how big an effect it has on people,” Garland said. “I am going to try and do it as much as I can throughout my life.”

The blood drive at the school is a yearly event organized by student council. Students say they come away with a sense of doing something meaningful.

“It’s really different to hear and say I saved a life today,” said Samantha Metts, student.

Donating blood takes about an hour; each pint donated has the potential to save the lives of three people. Blood drives in the local area can be found on the American Red Cross website.

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