NASHVILLE, TN (WSMV) - The Red Cross says there is a big blood shortage in the Midstate after the recent tornado outbreak and the ongoing coronavirus crisis disrupting the ability to collect.

Right now the Red Cross says they need more than 5 thousand pints of blood in Middle Tennessee alone. Nationally they need more than 170 thousand pints. That blood could make all the difference for someone being treated here at a nearby hospital for coronavirus or other urgent needs.

"Blood is desperately needed in our state and in our nation," said Joel Sullivan with Red Cross of Tennessee.

The Red Cross says its urgent because the coronavirus pandemic lead to the cancellation of hundreds of blood drives, including about 130 drives in our area.

The cancellations are an effort to keep people separated and stop the spread.

"They’re usually done at schools or work places and sometimes done in close quarters so its normal and a good thing that the drives have been canceled from a social distancing standpoint but it has had an unintended consequences of reducing the blood supply," said Dr. Lisa Piercey, Tennessee Commissioner of Health

Anyone who can give is asked to come to the Red Cross Blood Centers like the one off Charlotte Ave in West Nashville or the nearest hospital or center that can collect.

"Those that healthy those that are not exhibiting signs of illness please come to your local blood center and give blood. It is needed. One pint of blood can save up to three lives," said Joel Sullivan.

Medical staff are going through extra steps to make sure donors are healthy and not showing any signs of having coronavirus.

See more about how to give blood here. is now with you on the go! Get the latest news updates and video, 4WARN weather forecast, weather radar, special investigative reports, sports headlines and much more from News4 Nashville.

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