Red Cross urges donations during shortage
The American Red Cross is urging individuals to give blood now to help end an emergency summer blood shortage that began last month.
In July, the Red Cross escalated its call for blood and platelet donors after a difficult Independence Day weekend for donations.
According to information released by the organization, more than 550 fewer blood drives were organized by businesses and other community groups during the holiday weekend than a typical week, which could equate to as many as 15,000 fewer donations than needed.
“Each and every day, individuals across the country depend on blood and platelet donations for lifesaving treatments and emergency care, so it’s critical that people donate now to meet these needs,” Cliff Numark, senior vice president of Red Cross Blood Services, said in a released statement. “Whether you’ve never donated or give a couple of times a year, you’re needed to give as soon as possible to help save patient lives. Yours may be the donation a patient is counting on.”
In an effort to encourage donors to give during the shortage, Red Cross is offering a free $5 Amazon.com gift card to those who donate blood or platelets July 30 through Aug. 30. More information on the gift card offer can be found online at redcrossblood.org/together.
The need is especially critical for type O blood donors, due to the type being the most in-demand blood type and often the first to be depleted from hospital shelves during a storage.
Type O negative is the universal blood type and what emergency room personnel reach for when there is no time to determine the blood type of patients in the most serious situations, the Red Cross says. Type O positive is the most common blood type and can be transfused to Rh-positive patients of any blood type.
“It’s not on people’s minds,” Samantha Pollard, Midwest communications manager at American Red Cross Blood Services, said. “People don’t realize how much blood is needed.”
Interested individuals can donate during one of several area Red Cross blood drives coming up this month:
Aug. 17—9 a.m.—3 p.m., Dodge Veterans Club, Oak Street
Aug. 19—12 p.m.—6 p.m., Baker’s Fremont, 1531 N Bell St.
Aug. 27—8 a.m.—2 p.m., Fremont Family YMCA, 810 N Lincoln St.
Aug. 28—9 a.m.—3 p.m., Fremont Health Medical Center, 450 E. 23rd St
Aug. 20—11:30 a.m.—5:30 p.m., City Auditorium, Ash Street