CHICAGO — Amid a growing blood shortage nationally, the first since the pandemic, the Red Cross is seeking help from locals across the Chicago area.  

The Guild Social Row Club on the city’s Northside aims to help the process.  

Every two seconds, someone in the U.S. needs blood. Blood donor Kara Crawford on Tuesday said she hopes to do her part. 

“This is my second time. I wanted to check out the space, it’s near my house and I keep hearing about the need, so I thought I would come,” she said.

Crawford is one of dozens of donors who answered the call for help. Why? Currently, there is a 30,000 blood unit shortage. Blood is broken down into types, with O being the most common. O-negative is considered the universal donor, meaning any can receive that type of blood. 

Donated blood is separated into plasma, red and white blood cells, platelets, antibodies and other components. 

The Red Cross supplies about 40% of the nation’s blood needs. 

Around 7 million Americans annually give blood, but that is only about 3% of the eligible population. 

With the Chicago Chapter of the Red Cross, Joy Squier said that you never know when someone will need blood.

“Cancer patients use approximately 50% of the blood donated,” Squier said. “If you have a chronic condition like sickle cell, blood donation is very important. Accident victims – an accident could use 100 units of blood right away. You never know. Transplant surgery patients. There are so many reasons why people need blood and you never know when it’s going to be someone you know or yourself impacted.” 

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