Shortage at KC blood bank reveals generation gap in donating blood

A nurse assists with a blood donation
Photo credit Getty

Kansas City, MO - A shortage at a KC Metro blood bank is revealing some generational differences in how, or even if, we donate blood.

Going into the Thanksgiving week, the Community Blood Center declared a blood emergency - meaning it doesn't have a seven-day supply of all blood types on hand.

"This one is disheartening because we had just come out of an emergency situation from the summer months," said Chelsey Smith, outreach & communications coordinator for the Community Blood Center.

Chelsey Smith says what may be even more concerning is the substatial drop in the number of donors in the past decade.

Smith says they have 21,000 fewer donors now than they did 10 years ago. 

"That's telling us people are not only aging out of our donor population but they're not being replaced with younger donors," said Smith.

Smith says Baby Boomers have been the backbone of the blood industry, and donating blood "went hand in hand with your civic duty, seen as a service to your country".

Now Smith says, it's time for Gen-X, Millennials and Gen-Z to step up.