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Amid a nationwide blood supply shortage, blood bank officials at Northwestern Medicine Delnor Hospital in Geneva are pleading for residents to donate.

Nancy Roxworthy, blood bank supervisor, said a perfect storm has led to the shortage from the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, people not wanting to leave their homes during the winter and the recent holiday season.

“It all plays a part and comes together, but this is more severe than we’ve seen in quite a long time, so we need people to know because I think many want to help if they are aware of it,” Roxworthy said.

In recent weeks, blood centers across the U.S. have reported having less than one day’s worth of blood on hand for certain blood types, according to American Red Cross, which recently declared a first-ever national blood crisis.

Locally, Roxworthy said she has not seen a blood shortage this bad in over 10 years. When there is a national disaster, Roxworthy said people gravitate to want to help and many did during the start of the pandemic. But blood has a very short expiration date of only 40 days and platelets only last for five days, so they constantly need replenishing, she said.

People looking to donate can visit or to find a blood donation site nearby.

“The blood you donate comes back to the same community, so people can feel they are doing something to help someone local,” Roxworthy said.

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