GREEN BAY, Wis. (WFRV) — The American Red Cross announced it is having its worst blood shortage in over a decade. For one mom, those donations saved her life.
“Basically I wasn’t making any blood products,” said Kala Breder. “I wasn’t clotting, I wasn’t making anything of my own. I was just sort of profusely bleeding.”
Breder had just given birth to her son during the summer of 2020 in an emergency C-section when something went terribly wrong.
“It was actually all of the blood within a 45-mile radius of my hometown,” she told Local 5’s Barrett Tryon via Zoom on Tuesday.
Her hospital ran out of blood and prepared her family for the worst.
“They told my dad you need to sign this to say you’re not going to sue us because we don’t think she’s gonna make it,” Breder said.
She’s telling her story now because blood donations literally saved her life.
“It keeps families together,” Breder said tearfully. “Had I not received (the blood donations), my husband would have been a single dad of kids three kids under five.”
The American Red Cross said it normally has about a five-day blood supply, but because of these critical shortages, in some cases, it’s down to less than half a day.
“We are looking at numbers that are down by about 10 percent donor turnout,” said Laura McGuire, who works as a spokeswoman for the Wisconsin chapter of the American Red Cross.
The Red Cross blames the low numbers are multiple things, including the pandemic, which has only made matters worse.
“Doctors are in difficult positions these days to try and really figure out who needs blood transfusions and who is going to get them,” McGuire added.
It’s a decision that Breder says no one needs to be in.
“If you’re on the fence, and you don’t think you’ll make an impact, your one unit saves lives,” she said. “You don’t know it, you don’t know the impact that it has, but I can tell you personally that it makes huge changes.”
The American Red Cross says it’s in desperate need of Type O Positive, Type O Negative, and blood platelets. If you’re interested in donating, you can register online.
In addition, the agency says you are free to donate blood even if you recently got your COVID-19 vaccine, or booster shot, and still feel OK. There is no need for a grace period to wait between when you got your shot and you donate blood.
The Red Cross and the NFL are also partnering this January, during National Blood Donor Month, to urge individuals to give blood or platelets and help tackle the national blood shortage. Those who come to give blood, platelets or plasma in January will automatically be entered for a chance to win a getaway to Super Bowl LVI in Los Angeles. As an extra thank-you from the Red Cross, those who come to donate will also be automatically entered to win a home theater package and a $500 e-gift card. Visit RedCrossBlood.org/SuperBowl for more information.