Due to the pandemic, the United States is facing the worst blood shortage in history. Blood donation drives are not happening as frequently, and the shortage has led to some hospitals needing to postpone medical necessary surgeries.
Paresh C. Shah, MD, surgeon-in-chief at Tisch Hospital and director of the Division of General Surgery, tells CBS Evening News’ Jonathan LaPook, MD, that NYU Langone Health was close to having to cancel its own surgical cases due to the lack of supply.
“There’s this huge backlog of operations that really needed to get done,” he says. “We were down to such a low inventory of blood that if we had one major transfusion event, we would have been depleted completely.”
While surgical techniques have come a long way and blood isn’t needed as often as before, Dr. Shah says “the lack of blood can mean life or death in trauma situations.”
Watch the report from CBS Evening News.