SAN DIEGO (KGTV) – The San Diego Blood Bank says blood supply is critically low right now.
On Tuesday, the Red Cross declared the first-ever blood crisis amid the Omicron surge. Many centers around the country are reporting less than one day's supply of certain types of blood.
The crisis is being driven by surging COVID cases, canceled blood drives, staffing issues, even severe weather in some parts of the country.
Confusion over when you're eligible based on when you may have had COVID and concerns over donation safety have kept some from making appointments.
"It's very safe to donate blood right now. You cannot contract COVID-19 from blood donation. You can't even contract COVID if you were to get a blood transfusion from someone who has COVID," Claudine Van Gonka with the San Diego Blook Bank said. "It's a respiratory virus and respiratory viruses are not transmittable through blood donation."
The San Diego Blood Bank is celebrating a milestone Tuesday, though, despite the crisis.
David Carroll of Chula Vista reached his 100-gallon blood donation. And it couldn't come at a better time.
"I'm going to start my next 100 gallons in two weeks," he said.
Carroll has been donating since 1990. He's given whole blood, plasma, and platelets -- the latter you can donate every two weeks.
The San Diego Blood Bank urges everyone eligible to sign up to make regular donations as supply hits dangerously low levels.
January is blood donor month, which Van Gonka said is a good time to start a new habit.
You can make an appointment by going to www.sandiegobloodbank.org.