(July 9, 2019) — Following a difficult Fourth of July week for blood and platelet donations and ongoing challenges finding new blood donors, the American Red Cross now 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 last week than during a typical week as people across the country celebrated the holiday with activities and travel. This led to about 17,000 fewer blood donations than needed for patients in a single week, causing the Red Cross to now 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.”
Missing Types sees encouraging response, but all donors needed now In June, the Red Cross launched the Missing Types campaign to encourage donors – especially new donors and those who have not donated in the past years – to give blood or platelets during the challenging summer months. Through the campaign, the letters A, B and O – letters that make up the main blood groups – disappeared from popular brands to symbolize what happens when blood goes missing from hospital shelves during blood shortages.
Despite an encouraging response to the campaign, blood donations still fell short of expectations in June, causing a significant draw down of the Red Cross blood supply.
“Blood is only available when generous blood and platelet donors roll up a sleeve to give, and right now, all donors – especially those give have never given or haven’t given in a while – are urged to make an appointment to give today,” Numark added.
How to help
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 donation opportunities July 9-31
7/15/2019: 1:30 p.m. - 7 p.m., American Legion, 710 North Main Street
7/9/2019: 1:30 p.m. - 6 p.m., St. John's United Church of Christ, 215 East Cumberland Street
7/15/2019: 1 p.m. - 6:30 p.m., American Legion, 12 North Westside Avenue
7/10/2019: 12:30 p.m. - 6 p.m., American Red Cross Hagerstown, 1131 Conrad Court
7/17/2019: 8 a.m. - 1 p.m., The Mac McLean Center, 1000 Florida Avenue
7/17/2019: 12:30 p.m. - 6 p.m., American Red Cross Hagerstown, 1131 Conrad Court
7/24/2019: 12:30 p.m. - 6 p.m., American Red Cross Hagerstown, 1131 Conrad Court
7/26/2019: 10 a.m. - 3:30 p.m., First United Bank & Trust, 19405 Emerald Square, Suite 1000
7/30/2019: 12:30 p.m. - 6 p.m., Robinwood, 11110 Medical Campus
7/31/2019: 12:30 p.m. - 6 p.m., American Red Cross Hagerstown, 1131 Conrad Court
7/26/2019: 1:30 p.m. - 7 p.m., Bethel United Methodist Church, 21006 Twin Springs Drive
7/11/2019: 11:30 a.m. - 5 p.m., Grand Point Church, 2230 Grand Point Road
7/22/2019: 1:30 p.m. - 6 p.m., Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, 50 Ragged Edge Rd
7/26/2019: 1:30 p.m. - 7 p.m., Chambersburg Mall, 864 Chambersburg Mall
7/26/2019: 1:30 p.m. - 7 p.m., Doylesburg Community Building, 21102 Path Valley Road
7/22/2019: 12 p.m. - 6 p.m., Greencastle Church of the Brethren, 36 South Carlisle Street
7/9/2019: 12:30 p.m. - 6 p.m., Mercersburg Mennonite Church, 10060 Buchanan Trail West
7/29/2019: 1 p.m. - 7 p.m., Whitetail Resort, 13805 Blaris Valley Ro
7/22/2019: 10 a.m. - 3 p.m., Fulton County Medical Center - SCU, 214 Peach Orchard Rd
7/18/2019: 12 p.m. - 5:30 p.m., VFW, 425 S Buckmarsh St
7/19/2019: 2 p.m. - 6 p.m., Stonewall Ruritan Club, 165 Ruritan Ln
7/26/2019: 1:30 p.m. - 6 p.m., Moose Lodge, 357 Fairfax Pike
7/19/2019: 2 p.m. - 6:30 p.m., New Life Christian Church, 2930 Middle Rd.
7/25/2019: 12 p.m. - 5:30 p.m., American Legion Post 22, 106 Zerkel St
7/9/2019: 12 p.m. - 4:30 p.m., Prince of Peace Lutheran Church, 319 Orkney Grade
7/16/2019: 1:30 p.m. - 6 p.m., Mt. Jackson Rescue and Fire, 6155 Main Street
7/31/2019: 11 a.m. - 4:30 p.m., First Bank, 112 W King St
7/11/2019: 12 p.m. - 5:30 p.m., American Legion, 411 South Muhlenberg Street
7/17/2019: 10 a.m. - 3 p.m., Shenandoah Memorial Hospital, 759 S Main St
7/20/2019: 9:30 a.m. - 3 p.m., Knights of Columbus 9002, 313 North Main
7/24/2019: 1:30 p.m. - 7 p.m., Emanuel Lutheran Church, 127 E. High St.
7/23/2019: 1:30 p.m. - 7 p.m., Riverton United Methodist Church, 55 E.Strasburg Rd
7/29/2019: 9 a.m. - 2 p.m., Shenandoah Lodge & Athletic Club, 180 Bald Eagle Dr
7/9/2019: 1 p.m. - 7 p.m., Winchester Blood Donation Center, 561 Fortress Dr
7/11/2019: 12 p.m. - 6 p.m., Winchester Blood Donation Center, 561 Fortress Dr
7/16/2019: 1 p.m. - 7 p.m., Winchester Blood Donation Center, 561 Fortress Dr
7/18/2019: 12 p.m. - 6 p.m., Winchester Blood Donation Center, 561 Fortress Dr
7/23/2019: 1 p.m. - 7 p.m., Winchester Blood Donation Center, 561 Fortress Dr
7/24/2019: 9 a.m. - 1:30 p.m., Selma Medical Associates, 104 Selma Dr
7/25/2019: 12 p.m. - 6 p.m., Winchester Blood Donation Center, 561 Fortress Dr
7/30/2019: 1 p.m. - 7 p.m., Winchester Blood Donation Center, 561 Fortress Dr
7/27/2019: 8:30 a.m. - 2 p.m., Bunker Hill Presbyterian Church, 9802 Winchester Avenue
7/31/2019: 1:30 p.m. - 7 p.m., Tomahawk Intermediate School, 6960 Hedgesville Rd
7/12/2019: 1 p.m. - 5:30 p.m., Blue Ridge Community and Technical College-Main Campus, 13650 Apple Harvest Dr
7/15/2019: 1:30 p.m. - 7 p.m., Airborne Church, 172 Creative Place
7/12/2019: 12:30 p.m. - 6 p.m., Church of the Brethren, 115 Clay Street
7/22/2019: 2 p.m. - 7 p.m., Covenant Baptist Church, 7485 Shepherdstown Pike
7/30/2019: 1:30 p.m. - 7 p.m., American Legion, 527 North Washington Street
7/13/2019: 9:30 a.m. - 3 p.m., Paw Paw High School, 60 Pirate Circle
About the American Red Cross
The American Red Cross shelters, feeds and provides emotional support to victims of disasters; supplies about 40% 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.