Minnesota blood bank donations at 10-year low, officials say

Officials say Minnesota’s blood bank donations are at a 10-year low.

Red Cross spokeswoman Tonia Teasley says many people are not donating because they are worried about their own health during the coronavirus pandemic. Teasley says across the region blood donations are down 10 percent.

Sen. Amy Klobuchar hosted a virtual roundtable discussion on the issue Monday with several blood bank officials. Blood donations have been down since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic and that’s exacerbated by the new year.

"Compounding that, we’re heading into a time of the year when blood donations tend to drop off anyway right after the holidays when it’s cold in our part of the country," Klobuchar said.

Dr. Jed Gorlin of Memorial Blood Centers noted that car accidents and violence are also factors in the recent shortage, Minnesota Public Radio News reported.

"We have had more penetrating trauma, gun shot wounds and knife wounds, as of the end of August than we did in all of 2019," Gorlin said. "So, sadly this is not just a problem of decreased donations. This is also increased usage."