Blood shortage hits cancer patients especially hard

Published: Feb. 2, 2022 at 7:14 AM CST
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EAU CLAIRE, Wis. (WEAU) - For the first time ever, the American Red Cross has issued a national blood crisis. Agencies and health care organizations are desperate for blood donors to come forward and help save lives.

Marshfield Clinic Health System representatives say the lack of blood is especially concerning for cancer patients. Elizabeth Trocinski, a Marshfield Clinic P.A., says cancer patients need more blood than patients fighting any other disease, using nearly a quarter of the nation’s blood supply.

“Cancer patients overall, as a result either of the disease itself or the treatment they’re receiving as in chemotherapy or radiation therapy, their body sometimes isn’t able to produce the amount of blood that they need,” said Trocinski. “The concern would be having to decide which patients really need that blood. Right now, when we’re trying to prevent people from feeling the symptoms of low blood counts and really making them more comfortable, that would become a discussion that has to be had about who really needs this blood and that’s just not a conversation we want to have.”

Marshfield Clinic even holds a blood drive for its own employees every month to help keep the supply stable, but it’s nowhere near enough to fill the need.

If you are able and health enough to donate, please contact the American Red Cross, Versiti or your local health care organization.

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