Critical blood shortage: Red Cross urges blood and platelet donors to give now
While thousands of people from across the country responded to the emergency request for blood and platelet donations issued by the American Red Cross in early July, a critical blood shortage remains.
The Red Cross urges eligible donors to give now to help ensure blood is available throughout the rest of the summer to meet patient needs.
At times, blood and platelets are being distributed to hospitals faster than donations are coming in, which impacts the ability to rebuild the blood supply. The Red Cross reported that it has less than a five-day blood supply on hand. The organization strives to have a five-day supply at all times to meet the needs of patients every day and be prepared for emergencies that may require significant volumes of donated blood products.
In the U.S., every two seconds someone like Ray Poulin needs blood or platelets. Poulin’s liver and kidneys failed following a serious blood infection. The situation became urgent when his liver hemorrhaged. He was given a 10 percent chance of survival. After receiving 77 units of blood, Poulin defied the odds.
“There was a lot that went into saving my life, but if the blood wasn’t available when I needed it, I wouldn’t be here today,” said Poulin.
Blood and platelets are needed for many different reasons. Accident and burn victims, heart surgery patients, organ transplant patients and those receiving treatment for leukemia, cancer or sickle cell disease may all need blood.
Donors of all blood types are urgently needed to help restock the shelves. The Red Cross expressed thanks to those who come in to donate blood or platelets between July 25 and Aug. 31 by emailing them a $5 Amazon.com gift card claim code.
To schedule an appointment to donate, use the free Blood Donor app, visit redcrossblood.org or call 1-800-RED CROSS (1-800-733-2767). Donation appointments and completion of a RapidPass online health history questionnaire are encouraged to help reduce wait times.
Upcoming blood donation opportunities include:
Aug. 14: 12:30 p.m. to 5:30 p.m., Goreville United Methodist Church, 117 W. Adams St. in Goreville.
Aug. 14: 11:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m., First Baptist Church Metropolis, 307 Massac Creek Road, Metropolis.
Aug. 1: 12 p.m. to 4 p.m., Crossroad United Methodist Church, 1289 Ullin Ave., Ullin.
Aug. 10: 12 p.m. to 6 p.m., First Baptist Church, 409 Morgan St., Anna.