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Emergency blood shortage: Red Cross issues urgent call for blood donors

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Mon, Jul 9th 2018 01:40 pm
Blood supply dwindles after donations lagged during Fourth of July holiday week
An emergency blood shortage is prompting the American Red Cross to issue an urgent call for eligible donors of all blood types - especially type O - to give now and help save lives.
The Red Cross escalated its call for blood and platelet donors after a difficult Independence Day week for donations. More than 550 fewer blood drives were organized by businesses and other community groups last week than during a typical week as individuals across the country celebrated the holiday and enjoyed summer activities. This could equate to as many as 15,000 fewer donations than needed, causing donations to now be distributed to hospitals faster than they come in.
"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," said Cliff Numark, senior vice president, Red Cross Blood Services. "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."
This need is especially critical for type O blood donors. Type O is the most in-demand blood type and often the first be depleted from hospital shelves during a shortage. 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. Type O-positive is the most common blood type and can be transfused to Rh-positive patients of any blood type.
How to Help
To schedule an appointment to donate, use the free Red Cross Blood donor app, visit RedCrossBlood.org or call 1-800-RED CROSS (1-800-733-2767). The Red Cross has added about 6,500 additional appointment slots at donation centers and community blood drives across the country over the next few weeks to accommodate more donors. Donation appointments and completion of a "RapidPass" online health history questionnaire are encouraged to help reduce the time it takes to donate.
'Missing Types' Sees Encouraging Increase in New Donors
Facing a decline of about 80,000 new Red Cross blood donors each year for the past several years, the Red Cross launched the "Missing Types" campaign in June to encourage new donors, and those who have not given recently, to donate blood. While the campaign has already inspired thousands of new donors to give, the Red Cross is now calling on all eligible blood and platelet donors to roll up a sleeve as soon as possible to overcome the emergency blood shortage.
Through the "Missing Types" campaign, which runs throughout the summer, the letters A, B and O - letters used to identify blood types - disappeared from corporate logos, celebrity social media accounts and favorite websites to illustrate the critical role every blood donor plays in ensuring blood is never missing from hospital shelves.
Upcoming blood donation opportunities July 9-31 include:
American Red Cross Blood Donation Centers:
Erie
Cheektowaga Blood Donation Center, 3601 Union St., Cheektowaga
Monday-Thursday: 11:30 a.m. to 7:30 p.m., Friday-Sunday: 7 a.m. to 3 p.m.
Niagara
Tonawanda Mid-City Plaza Blood Donation Center, 301 Meadow Drive, North Tonawanda (next to Tops)
Monday -Thursday: noon to 6 p.m., Saturday: 7 a.m. to 1 p.m. (first, third and fifth Saturday of each month)
Give Blood
Erie County
•Amherst
  • July 11: 1:30-5:30 p.m., Carstar, 2915 Niagara Falls Blvd.
  • July 12: 1:30-5:30 p.m., Dash's Market, 499 W. Klein Road
  • July 25: 2:30-6:30 p.m., Whole Foods Market, 3139 Sheridan Drive
•Buffalo
  • July 11: 10 a.m. until 2 p.m., University at Buffalo North student union, student union
  • July 12: 10 a.m. until 2 p.m., EPIC, 1000 Main St.
  • July 16: 11 a.m. until 3 p.m., Buffalo & Erie County Public Library, 1 Lafayette Square
  • July 23: noon until 5:30 p.m., Buffalo Knights of Columbus, 261 S. Legion Drive
  • July 25: until until 6 p.m., WNY Chapter, 786 Delaware Ave.
  • July 26: 10 a.m. until 2 p.m., University at Buffalo South Harriman Hall, 3435 Main S.
  • July 31: 11 a.m. until 4 p.m., MERJ Fleet Services Inc., 1560 Harlem Road, Unit W5
•Cheektowaga
  • July 31: 10 a.m. until 2 p.m., BNIA Fire Department, 120 Amherst Villa Road
•Clarence
  • July 19: 1-7 p.m., Monsignor Hammerl Parish Center, 10950 Main St.
•Eggertsville
  • July 27: 2-6 p.m., Trinity Old Lutheran Church, 3445 Sheridan Drive
•Grand Island
  • July 17: 1-6:30 p.m., Grand Island Firehall, 2275 Baseline Road
•Hamburg
  • July 23: 1:30-6:30 p.m., Hamburg Public Library, 102 Buffalo St.
  • July 28: 9 a.m. until 1 p.m., All Saints Lutheran Church, 6065 South Park Ave.
•Kenmore
  • July 15: 9 a.m. until 2 p.m., Knox Presbyterian Church, 2595 Elmwood Ave.
  • July 20: 2-6 p.m., Christ United Methodist Church, 350 Saratoga Road
•Tonawanda
  • July 14: 9 a.m. until 2 p.m., Dunkin Donuts, 2200 Sheridan Drive
  • July 19: 2 p.m. until 7 p.m., Tonawanda Fire Department, Canal Fest, 5 Main St.
  • July 29: 9 a.m. until 1 p.m., Blessed Sacrament Father Cotter Hall, 263 Claremont Ave.
•West Seneca
  • July 11: noon until 5 p.m., Saint David's Episcopal Church, 3951 Seneca St.
Niagara County
•Barker
  • July 24: 1-6 p.m., Faith United Methodist Church, 1449 Quaker Road
•Lockport
  • July 10: 1-6 p.m., The Dale Association Inc., 33 Ontario St.
  • July 24: 1-6 p.m., The Dale Association Inc., 33 Ontario St.
  • July 30: 2-6 p.m., Johnson's Country Store, 6221 Robinson Road
•Niagara Falls
  • July 9: 1-6 p.m., Cristoforo Colombo Society, 2223 Pine Ave.
  • July 27: 10 a.m. until 3 p.m., Seneca Niagara Casino, 310 4th St.
  • July 27: 11 a.m. until 4 p.m., Walmart, 1540 Military Road
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, visit RedCross.org or on Twitter at @RedCross.

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