America Is Almost Out Of Blood

The lifesaving product is perishable and impossible to manufacture. But a lack of donors isn’t the biggest reason it’s in short supply

Certified phlebotomist Jeaneva Thompson draws blood from active duty Army Col. Marilyn D. Wills.

Early this January, the American Red Cross made an emergency call for blood and platelet donations across the United States due to a severe winter shortage. Human blood, unlike computers, smartphones, and cars, cannot be manufactured, and no substitute for it has yet been invented. At the same time, blood, like fresh produce, is a perishable product, with platelets lasting five days and red blood cells 42.

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