Following a difficult Fourth of July week for blood and platelet donations and ongoing challenges finding new blood donors, the American Red Cross faces a blood shortage and has issued an emergency call for eligible individuals of all blood types to give now and prevent delays in medical care.
About 450 fewer blood drives were organized by businesses and other community groups during the holiday than during a typical week. This led to about 17,000 fewer blood donations than needed for patients in a single week, causing the Red Cross to have less than a three-day supply of most blood types available — and less than a two-day supply of type O blood — for patients. At least a five-day supply is desired.
“Medical emergencies and critical treatments don’t stop for holiday celebrations. Patients depend on lifesaving blood transfusions every day,” said Cliff Numark, senior vice president, Red Cross Blood Services.
“Right now, the Red Cross only has less than a three-day supply when we need a five-day supply to be prepared for all situations that require blood products. To help meet this need, we’ve added about 8,000 additional appointments at blood donation centers and community blood drives over the next few weeks to accommodate more donors. But we need people to fill those appointments. Please join us today.”
Donors of all blood types, especially type O, are urged to make an appointment to donate using the Blood Donor App, at redcrossblood.org or by calling 1-800-RED CROSS (1-800-733-2767).
Donation appointments and completion of a RapidPass online health history questionnaire are encouraged to help reduce the time it takes to donate.
Those interested in hosting a blood drive can learn more and sign up to sponsor a drive this summer by visiting redcrossblood.org/hostadrive.
Upcoming blood drives include: 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday, July 20, Harley Davidson, 16130 N. Arrowhead Fountain Center Drive, Peoria; and 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Monday, July 29, Happy Valley Baptist Church, 24220 N. 43rd Avenue, Glendale.