KANSAS CITY, Mo. — The Community Blood Center is in desperate need of donors.

The organization declared its first blood emergency of 2023 because the number of people donating blood continues to drop, but need remains high.

The CBC says several factors are contributing to the decline in donations right now. The cold and flu season prevented some people from donation, but there is also a decline in first-time donors, according to the CBC.

In January, the Community Blood Center received 2,000 fewer blood donations than it did in January 2022, according to the organization.

Compounding the issue is that the number of donations have not returned to pre-pandemic levels. New donors and youth donors are half of what the CBC handled before COVID-19.

Office and community blood drives are also down, according to the CBC.

“Each winter, we struggle to get folks to donate blood and this year is no exception. We need more people to make blood donations, host blood drives and spread the word about the need for donations,” Patsy Shipley, Vice President at Community Blood Center, said. 

The CBC also needs people to donate platelets. Platelet donations only have a shelf life of seven days, so donations are constantly needed.

Blood donors can give every 56 days, and platelet donors can give twice a month. To view current eligibility guidelines and schedule an appointment, visit savealifenow.org.