August 16, 2018

Red Cross Blood Shortage Continues

As thousands answer the call to give, emergency need remains; critical call for type O blood donors to donate now.

Posted

Thousands of people have responded to the emergency call for blood and platelet donations issued by the American Red Cross in early July. Still, there continues to be an emergency need for donors of all blood types, especially type O, to give now to address a severe blood shortage.

Red Cross blood donations are being distributed to hospitals faster than they are coming in, and right now there is less than a five-day blood supply on hand. The Red Cross strives to keep a five-day supply of blood to meet the needs of patients and to be prepared for emergencies that require significant volumes of donated blood products.

“Patients don’t get a summer break from the need for lifesaving treatments, so it is critical that hospitals have access to blood products each and every day,” said Kelly Isenor, External Communications Manager of the Massachusetts Blood Services Region. “We sincerely appreciate those who have responded to the call to help save lives, but the emergency need remains. Those who haven’t rolled up a sleeve to give are urged to do so today.”

There is a particular need for type O blood, which plays an important role in ongoing patient care and emergencies. Type O positive is the most transfused blood type and can be given to patients with any Rh-positive blood type. Type O negative is the universal blood type and can be given to any patient. It’s what emergency room personnel reach for when there is no time to determine the blood type of patients in the most serious situations.

In thanks, all those who come to donate blood or platelets July 30 through Aug. 30, 2018, will receive a $5 Amazon.com Gift Card via email. (Restrictions apply; see amazon.com/gc-legal. More information and details are available at RedCrossBlood.org/Together.)

Donors of all blood types are urged to make an appointment to give now using the free American Red Cross Blood Donor App, by visiting RedCrossBlood.org or by calling 1-800-RED CROSS (1-800-733-2767).

How to donate blood
Simply download the American Red Cross Blood Donor App, visit RedCrossBlood.org or call 1-800-RED CROSS (1-800-733-2767) to make an appointment or for more information. All blood types are needed to ensure a reliable supply for patients. A blood donor card or driver’s license or two other forms of identification are required at check-in. Individuals who are 17 years of age in most states (16 with parental consent where allowed by state law), weigh at least 110 pounds and are in generally good health may be eligible to donate blood. High school students and other donors 18 years of age and younger also have to meet certain height and weight requirements.

Blood and platelet donors can save time at their next donation by using RapidPass® to complete their pre-donation reading and health history questionnaire online, on the day of their donation, before arriving at the blood drive. To get started, follow the instructions at RedCrossBlood.org/RapidPass or use the Blood Donor App.

About the American Red Cross
The American Red Cross shelters, feeds and provides emotional support to victims of disasters; supplies about 40 percent of the nation’s blood; teaches skills that save lives; provides international humanitarian aid; and supports military members and their families. The Red Cross is a not-for-profit organization that depends on volunteers and the generosity of the American public to perform its mission. For more information, please visit RedCross.org or CruzRojaAmericana.org, or visit us on Twitter at @RedCross.

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