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Red Cross enters third week of emergency blood and platelet shortage


Wed, Oct 13th 2021 02:45 pm

Donations needed now to help those battling cancer and other serious conditions

Submitted by The American Red Cross

The American Red Cross continues to experience an emergency blood and platelet shortage that has caused the blood supply to drop to the lowest post-summer level in at least six years.

With less than a day’s supply of certain blood types in recent weeks, the Red Cross asks donors of all blood types – especially type O − to make an appointment to give blood or platelets as soon as possible to ensure patients can receive the lifesaving transfusions they rely on. Appointments can be made by using the Red Cross blood donor app, visiting RedCrossBlood.org, or calling 1-800-RED CROSS (1-800-733-2767).

Fall is typically a time when the blood supply rebounds from summer blood shortages, but a surge in COVID-19 cases across the U.S. due to the delta variant has contributed to the lowest donor turnout of the year. To shore up inventory, the Red Cross must collect 10,000 additional blood products each week this month to meet hospital and patient needs.

Donors Asked to Make Appointment

All those who come to donate in October will receive a link by email to claim a free Zaxby’s Signature Sandwich reward or get a $5 e-gift card to a merchant of their choice. Plus, all those who come to give Oct. 11-31 will receive a bonus $5 e-gift card to a merchant of their choice. Terms and conditions apply. Additional information and details are available at RedCrossBlood.org/Zaxbys.

Blood Donations Help Those with Breast Cancer

During Breast Cancer Awareness Month in October, the Red Cross is reminding donors of the importance of blood to those undergoing treatment. According to the National Cancer Institute, roughly 1.9 million people are expected to be diagnosed with cancer in the U.S. this year, and more than 281,000 of those individuals will have breast cancer.

Patients with breast cancer and other cancers may need blood products on a regular basis during chemotherapy, surgery or treatment for complications. In fact, nearly 25% of the blood supply is used by cancer patients.

People across the country depend on the kindness of blood donors. Donors are urged to make an appointment to give blood or platelets as soon as possible by using the Red Cross blood donor app, visiting RedCrossBlood.org, or calling 1-800-RED CROSS (1-800-73-2767).

Blood Drive Safety

Each Red Cross blood drive and donation center follows the highest standards of safety and infection control, and additional precautions – including face masks for donors and staff, regardless of vaccination status – have been implemented to help protect the health of all those in attendance. Donors are asked to schedule an appointment prior to arriving at the drive. 

Upcoming blood donation opportunities (Oct. 16-31) include:



√ Oct. 16: 9 a.m. until 2 p.m., Boulevard Mall, 730 Alberta Drive

√ Oct. 20: noon to 6 p.m., Boulevard Mall, 730 Alberta Drive

√ Oct. 22: 10 a.m. until 2:30 p.m., Boulevard Mall, 730 Alberta Drive

√ Oct. 27: noon to 6 p.m., Boulevard Mall, 730 Alberta Drive

√ Oct. 28: 1-6 p.m., Main Transit Fire Department, 6777 Main St.


√ Oct. 16: 10 a.m. to 3 p.m., Bangladeshi American Social & Cultural Organization, Western New York, 120 Alexander Ave.

√ Oct. 26: 10 a.m. to 3:30 p.m., Mercy Hospital, 565 Abbott Road

√ Oct. 29: 9:30 a.m. until 2:30 p.m., Buffalo State College – Campbell Student Union, 1300 Elmwood Ave.

√ Oct. 30: 10 a.m. to 3 p.m., Johnnie B. Wiley Pavilion, 1100 Jefferson Ave

Grand Island

√ Oct. 18: 1-6 p.m., Grand Island Knights of Columbus, 1841 Whitehaven Road


√ Oct. 22: 9 a.m. until 2 p.m., Ellwood Fire Department, 1000 Englewood Ave.


√ Oct. 23: 9 a.m. to 1 p.m., Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, 1424 Maple Road



√ Oct. 18: 9 a.m. to 1 p.m., Lockport Family YMCA, 5833 Snyder Drive

√ Oct. 26: 1-6 p.m., The Dale Association Inc., 33 Ontario St.


√ Oct. 25: 1-6 p.m., Middleport Firehall, 28 Main St.

Niagara Falls

√ Oct. 23: 8:30 a.m. until 1 p.m., Grace Lutheran Church, 736 Cayuga Drive

√ Oct. 29: 11 a.m. to 3 p.m., Seneca Niagara Resort & Casino (hotel side), 310 4th St

Save Time During Donation

Donors can also save up to 15 minutes at the blood drive by completing a RapidPass. With RapidPass, donors complete the predonation reading and health history questionnaire online, on the day of donation, from a mobile device or computer. To complete a RapidPass, follow the instructions at RedCrossBlood.org/RapidPass or use the Red Cross blood donor app.

To donate blood, individuals need to bring a blood donor card or driver’s license, or two other forms of identification that are required at check-in. Individuals who are 17 years of age in most states (16 with parental consent where allowed by state law), weigh at least 110 pounds and are in generally good health may be eligible to donate blood. High school students and other donors 18 years of age and younger also must meet certain height and weight requirements.

Health Insights for Donors

At a time when health information has never been more important, the Red Cross is screening all blood, platelet and plasma donations from self-identified African American donors for the sickle cell trait. This additional screening will provide Black donors with an additional health insight and help the Red Cross identify compatible blood types more quickly to help patients with sickle cell disease who require trait-negative blood. 

Blood transfusion is an essential treatment for those with sickle cell disease, and blood donations from individuals of the same race, ethnicity and blood type have a unique ability to help patients fighting sickle cell disease.

Donors can expect to receive sickle cell trait screening results, if applicable, within one to two weeks through the Red Cross blood donor app and the online donor portal at www.RedCrossBlood.org.  

The American Red Cross shelters, feeds and provides comfort to victims of disasters; supplies about 40% of the nation's blood; teaches skills that save lives; distributes international humanitarian aid; and supports veterans, 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 deliver its mission. For more information, visit redcross.org or cruzrojaamericana.org, or visit us on Twitter at @RedCross.

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