VIRGINIA BEACH, Va (WAVY) — Just as the Red Cross is pulling out of the critical blood shortage created during the pandemic, a summer slump in donations is threatening the supply again.
Just a few months ago, local hospitals were warning of dangerously low blood supplies and scrutinizing every drop they used.
Friday morning, Sentara Healthcare told 10 On Your Side they are in a good place with blood supply, but the Red Cross is worried about keeping those shelves stocked.
10 On your Side headed out to a donation site in Virginia Beach to assess the situation and met a woman there who was celebrating the fact that she could give blood.
July 8 is Robin Weinerth’s birthday and there’s no place she’d rather be than giving blood.
“I haven’t been able to give for a few years due to my own health care need and today is my birthday and I figured it was a great day to come out and donate,” she said.
Robin, a two-time cancer survivor, started donating in her teens.
“I was in Hampton at Kecoughtan High school and had some friends who were in a car accident and needed some blood transfusions and it just started my journey of giving blood on a regular basis,” she said.
Over the years, sitting in the donor chair, she’s come to realize how important it is to give this gift.
Especially now, when there are empty seats beside her.
“We are seeing that we’re having a tougher time getting people to register and keep those appointments at blood drives,” American Red Cross Coastal Virginia Chapter Executive Director Katie Niehoff explained.
Niehoff said she is concerned about keeping up the supply.
“Families are getting out traveling people are leaving town more than they have in the past couple years and so we are seeing a dip in our blood supply.”
If you would like to sign up to donate, CLICK HERE.
Check WAVY.com for the latest updates.