The American Red Cross has issued an emergency call for blood and platelets, urging all eligible donors to give now to replenish an extremely low blood supply.
Blood donations have fallen short of hospital needs for the past few months, resulting in about 39,000 fewer donations than what’s needed, as well as a significant draw down of the overall Red Cross blood supply. In addition, the Independence Day holiday may have caused many regular donors to postpone donations due to vacation plans.
A recent Red Cross poll revealed that more than 75 percent of donors surveyed indicated vacation plans this summer, many of them occurring the weeks before and after July 4.
“Right now, blood products are being distributed to hospitals faster than donations are coming in, which is why we are making this emergency request for donations,” said Rodney Wilson, communications manager of Red Cross Blood Services. “Donations are urgently needed now to meet the needs of hospital patients in the coming days and weeks. If you’ve thought about giving blood and helping to save lives, now is the time to do it. It’s the blood donations on the shelves that help to save lives when an emergency occurs.”
To schedule an appointment to donate, visit (redcrossblood.org) or call 1-800-RED CROSS (1-800-733-2767). The Red Cross is extending hours at many sites to allow for more donors to make an appointment to give. Donation appointments and completion of a RapidPass (redcrossblood.org/RapidPass) online health history questionnaire are encouraged to avoid longer wait times. Donors with all blood types are needed.