MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — Right now, blood banks are desperate for donors. There is a severe blood shortage nationwide, including here in Minnesota.

This shortage is due to a rise in trauma cases, organ transplants and elective surgeries. The American Red Cross is looking for donors of all blood types, especially type O and those giving platelets, to donate.

At one of the Red Cross donation sites in Bloomington, they say some of their most common donors are frontline healthcare workers, who are seeing this shortage firsthand and want to play their part in helping their patients.

While we were at this drive here we saw one of the Red Cross employees decide to donate.

“Usually in the summer, we struggle in general, but this year is worse than before,” said Alyssa Tessmer, who works for the Red Cross and felt she needed to donate Friday to help the cause. “Coming out of the pandemic it’s been really hard, a lot of backlogs of surgeries, it’s been really bad and it’s getting worse. When you say severe…sometimes there’s not even a full day of blood supply.”

Luis Mejia felt called to donate on Friday during this dire time, and encourages others to do the same.

“Do it as an act of selflessness. More than anything try to look to have a little compassion for the other ones who need it a little more than you do at this time,” said Mejia.

Red Cross hopes people answer the call, not just now, but all summer long since the need will always be there.

“We need more people to donate. We’re getting there, but we’re very far,” said Tessmer.

You can find a Red Cross donation on a daily basis across Minnesota here. You can also download the Red Cross Blood Donor app here.

Or you can call: 1-800­-RED CROSS (1-800­-733-2767)

They prefer you make an appointment ahead of time, but they are also accepting walk-ins right now to make it easier to give.

Marielle Mohs