By Joan Murray

MIAMI (CBSMiami) – The Red Cross is experiencing the worst blood shortage in a decade and that has led to surgery delays around the country.

While the situation in South Florida is not as critical, there is a serious blood deficit.

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“Right now, the blood supply is tight,” said Susan Forbes, who is Senior Vice President of corporate communications for One Blood which furnishes blood for all the hospitals.

“We are distributing blood to our hospitals around the clock. One trauma patient can use 100 to 200 Units of O negative blood. That’s 200 donors for one person,” she said.

So, why the shortage?

The pandemic has meant fewer donors and fewer opportunities for blood drives at offices and schools, which has been a major source of donations in years past.

The biggest need is for O-positive and O-negative blood.

There should be a three to five-day supply, but right now, there s only a one to two-day reserve.

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“Hispanic and African Americans are more likely to have type O blood, but less than five percent donate,” says Forbes.

“They could help with the shortage we are facing.”

One blood has incentives to encourage donations. They are currently giving gift cards.

Donors can find out which hospital is using your blood and beginning this year, patients can anonymously send a message of thanks to a donor.

It’s another plus for veterinarian Henry Sullivan who gives blood every two months.

“I have friends in the medical field and realize that a single trauma can create an unprecedented need for blood. So it’s very much needed,” he said.

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Click here for blood donation resources.