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Toledo woman who regularly receives blood transfusions reacts to severe blood shortage

Toledoan Kelli Hoff has Myelodysplastic Syndrome and receives blood every 2 weeks. She wants people to understand blood transfusions aren't just for traumas.

TOLEDO, Ohio — The American Red Cross said its a combination of factors causing the severe blood shortage across the country.

"We've seen a significant increase in usage by hospitals. There's been an increase in transplants, emergency room visits, traumas," said Christy Peters with the American Red Cross Northern Ohio Region.

Peters says there are also some after effects from the COVID-19 pandemic.

"We really think there have been a lot of people who did postpone their surgeries, postpone their treatments during COVID-19," said Peters. "Perhaps they didn't feel comfortable going to a hospital to get those treatments and now they are coming in, so there's a higher number of individuals that need care. "

RELATED: The American Red Cross facing severe blood shortage

Toledoan Kelli Hoff has Myelodysplastic Syndrome and receives blood every 2 weeks.

Fortunately, she hasn't had any issues getting blood so far. 

However she says she could have trouble if someday she isn't able to.

"I would be doing nothing but sitting in a chair," said Hoff. "For me, on a regular basis, walking around is fine but I cant carry anything, I cant run, because you don't get the oxygen in your blood and you cant do the things you used to do."

Hoff wants people to understand blood transfusions aren't just for traumas.

"It is for those patients, whether they're in the hospital or they're an outpatient like myself, that there's definitely a need for blood," said Hoff.

RELATED: Red Cross: Donors needed among severe blood shortage

The American Red Cross says without the community stepping up to donate, they are not going to be able to provide the blood that's needed.

"We cant manufacture it. We can't go and make more of it somewhere. So the community is really the vital link between us and getting the blood we need, and getting it to the patients that are in the hospital right now," said Peters.

You can find a blood donation site in Northwest Ohio here.

The American Red Cross says you can still donate even if you've had COVID-19 or you've received the vaccine, as long as you're feeling healthy on the day of the donation.

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