American Red Cross facing critical blood shortage - WNEM TV 5

American Red Cross facing critical blood shortage

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American Red Cross collections staff member Cherrelle Simon collects a blood donation from Clint Kraft. Clint says that he gives blood because his wife suffers from a rare disease. (Source: Red Cross) American Red Cross collections staff member Cherrelle Simon collects a blood donation from Clint Kraft. Clint says that he gives blood because his wife suffers from a rare disease. (Source: Red Cross)
MICHIGAN, (WNEM) -

The American Red Cross is facing a critical blood shortage and is issuing an emergency call for eligible blood and platelet donors of all blood types to give now and help save lives.

The organization said about 61,000 fewer donations were given during the last two months, causing a significant draw down of the blood supply. The shortfall is the equivalent of the Red Cross not collecting any blood donations for more than four days, they said. 

“It’s crucial that people donate now to meet the needs of patients every day and to be prepared for emergencies that require significant volumes of donated blood,” said Todd Kulman of the Great Lakes Michigan Blood Services Region. “Every day, blood and platelet donors can help save lives, and right now these heroes are needed to give as soon as possible.” 

Overall, the summer months are among the most challenging times of the year for blood and platelet donations as regular donors delay giving while they vacation and participate in summer activities.

Blood shortages often worsen around Independence Day due to many fewer volunteer-hosted blood drives at places of work, worship or community gathering, and this year is no exception. Nearly 700 fewer blood drives are scheduled during the Independence Day week than the weeks before and after the holiday.

Donations are critically needed now so that patients can continue to receive lifesaving treatments.

To schedule an appointment to donate, use the free Blood Donor App, visit their website, or call 1-800-RED CROSS. 

Every two seconds in the United States blood and platelets are needed to respond to patient emergencies, including accident and burn victims, heart surgery and organ transplant procedures, and patients receiving treatment for leukemia, cancer or sickle cell disease.

The Red Cross must collect nearly 14,000 blood donations every day for patients at approximately 2,600 hospitals across the country.

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