The German Red Cross warns of a critical shortage of blood supplies. In North Rhine-Westphalia, Hesse and Rhineland-Palatinate there are only as few blood products in stock as the hospitals use for their patients within a day, said the DRK blood donation service West in Ratingen.

An “absolutely red line” has thus been reached. Actually, canned food should be in stock for five days. Because an unusually large number of people are sick at the moment, far fewer donors than usual come to the appointments.

The situation worsened again at the turn of the year. “Infectious diseases, respiratory diseases and the flu epidemic hit even more drastically in the already small group of regular blood donors,” said spokesman Stephan David Küpper. In order to ensure the supply, the DRK blood donation service West needs up to 3500 blood donations every day. “Anyone who is healthy should donate blood now,” he appealed.

According to him, around 1,000 blood donations are needed every day in Hesse, and 900 in Rhineland-Palatinate and Saarland. Since November, however, up to 20 percent less has been donated than is required. “You can endure that for a few days, but at some point there will be a supply gap,” warned Küpper.

Because the blood donation service mainly offers appointments on weekdays, he hopes that companies and authorities will encourage their employees to take advantage of the offers: “We also keep the times short so that several hours of working time are not lost,” said the spokesman.

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