How to help blood banks facing shortages during coronavirus pandemic

RALEIGH, N.C. (WTVD) -- In the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, another medical crisis could be on the horizon--a blood shortage.

As Americans continue to practice social distancing, events all over the country have been canceled, including blood drives. According the the American Association of Blood Banks, which monitors the nation's blood supply, 4,000 blood drives have been canceled resulting in 104,000 fewer donations.

"Inventories were strained before...now the situation is much worse," a spokesperson from the American Association of Blood Banks says.

RELATED: Are people with asthma high-risk? What about pregnant women? Answers to your coronavirus questions

Locally, Triangle businesses are trying to respond to this shortage.

The Longfellow Real Estate partners will team up with the Red Cross for an emergency blood drive on Thursday from 10 a.m. until 3:30 p.m. at Keystone Technology Park. Organizers say CDC guidelines for social distance will be strictly enforced.

Morgan Street Food Hall and the Blood Connection will also host blood drives Thursday through Saturday from 12 p.m. until 7 p.m. and Sunday from 12 p.m. to 5 p.m. at the food hall. Every donor will receive a $20 Visa gift card.

RELATED: How to stay safe and support downtown Raleigh businesses

According to the Red Cross, 13,000 donations are needed to meet daily patient needs.
Copyright © 2020 WTVD-TV. All Rights Reserved.