It has been a little more than a week since The American Red Cross issued that we are in a national blood crisis. This poses a major risk to patient care as this is the worst shortage in over a decade. What is causing this shortage? In short, many people can summarize it into one word: "pandemic."

Since March of 2020:

  • 10% overall blood donation decline
  • 62% drop in college and high school drives due to the pandemic. Student donors accounted for around 25% of donors in 2019.
  • Ongoing blood drive cancellations due to illness, weather-related closures, and staffing limitations
  • Additional factors like a surge of Covid-19 cases and an active flu season may compound the already bad situation

One pint of blood can save up to three lives. The population of the Hudson Valley is 2,061,530. That means, if everyone in our region was able to donate, that could potentially save over 6 million lives! Even if only half of the population is eligible and donates, that is still around 3 million lives, which is no small feat.

It is not like there are not people out there who wish to donate. Before donating, it is wise to look over the Medication Deferral List. I was turned away a few months ago because of a medication I was on. As much as someone may want to give blood, make sure that your blood is safe to give.

Another factor that is heavily under debate right now is the ban on gay and bisexual men. The decades-old guidance from the FDA says to "defer for 3 months from the most recent sexual contact, a man who has sex with another man during the past 3 months." This controversial guidance was put in place in 1983 during the AIDS epidemic.

Besides all this, many Americans are more hesitant to give blood than ever. Even when the stars align and a blood drive can happen, many people are timid to go because of the fear instilled by the pandemic. That, and there is much confusion over what is allowed during this time, especially in regards to travel, vaccinations, and more. To clear up any misconceptions, the Red Cross has compiled multiple lists outlining protocols.

To schedule an appointment, follow this link and type in your zip code. Below is a list of blood drives that will be happening in January in the Hudson Valley. All blood types are urgently needed to help end the blood crisis, so any kind is appreciated.

  • January 20th - Moose Lodge 904 in Hyde Park, 12538
  • January 20th - Hyatt House in Fishkill, 12524
  • January 20th- Westchester Medical Center in Valhalla,10595
  • January 21st - The Galleria Mall in Poughkeepsie, 12601
  • January 22nd - St. John's Roman Catholic Church in Woodstock, 12498
  • January 24th -Veterans of Foreign Wars in Kingston, 12402
  • January 25th - Marist College Student Center in Poughkeepsie, 12601
  • January 25th - Vassar Brothers Medical Center in Poughkeepsie, 12601
  • January 25th - Livingston Manor Fire House in Livingston Manor, 12758
  • January 26th - St. Patrick's Church in Yorktown Heights, 10598
  • January 26th - Columbia Memorial Hospital Administrative Building in Hudson, 12534
  • January 27th - Best Western Plus in Kingston, 12401
  • January 27th - Rock Hill Firehouse in Rockhill, 12775
  • January 28th - Elks Lodge 275 in Poughkeepsie, 12603
  • January 28th - Newburgh Armory Unity Center, 12550
  • January 28th - Trinity Episcopal Church Barclay Heights in Saugerties, 12477

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