WINSTON-SALEM — The American Red Cross has issued an emergency call for blood and platelets, urging all eligible donors to give now to replenish an extremely low summer blood supply.
Blood donations have fallen short of hospital needs for the past few months, resulting in about 39,000 fewer donations than what’s needed, as well as a significant draw down of the overall Red Cross blood supply. In addition, the Independence Day holiday may have caused many regular donors to postpone donations due to vacation plans. A recent Red Cross poll revealed that more than 75 percent of donors surveyed indicated they have vacation plans this summer, many of them occurring the weeks before and after July 4.
“Right now, blood products are being distributed to hospitals faster than donations are coming in, which is why we are making this emergency request for donations,” said Nick Gehrig, communications director, Red Cross Blood Services. “Donations are urgently needed now to meet the needs of hospital patients in the coming days and weeks. If you’ve thought about giving blood and helping to save lives, now is the time to do it. It’s the blood donations on the shelves that help save lives when an emergency occurs.”
How to help
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). The Red Cross is extending hours at many donation sites to allow for more donors to make an appointment to give. Donation appointments and completion of a RapidPass online health history questionnaire are encouraged to avoid longer wait times. Donors with all blood types are needed.
Those unable to give can still help by encouraging others to give through a SleevesUp virtual blood drive at redcrossblood.org/sleevesup, giving of their time through volunteerism or making a financial donation to support Red Cross humanitarian work across the country and around the world.
Who blood donations help
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 approximately 14,000 blood and platelet donations every day for patients at about 2,600 hospitals and transfusion centers nationwide.
Because of generous donors, the Red Cross is able to provide blood products to patients like 11-year-old Mae Rainey, who needs regular blood transfusions as part of her treatment for a blood disorder.
“I am very grateful for the opportunities that the Red Cross has given us to get her to her healthiest state,” said Caleb Rainey, Mae’s older brother.
Watch Mae’s story to learn how blood donations can make a lifesaving difference.
Upcoming blood donation opportunities include:
July 18, 1:30 to 6 p.m., Elkin Rescue Squad, 946 N. Bridge St.
July 10, 2 to 6:30 p.m., Piney Grove Baptist Church, 278 Piney Grove Church Road
July 12, 1:30 to 6 p.m., Boy Scouts at Camp Raven Knob, 266 Raven Knob Road
July 14, 2 to 6 p.m., First Presbyterian Church of Mount Airy, 326 S. Main St.
July 15, 10 a.m. to 2:30 p.m., Northern Hospital of Surry County, 830 Rockford St.
July 15, 12:30 to 5 p.m., Mayberry Mall Mount Airy, 80 A-3 Mall Office, Andy Griffith Parkway
July 16, 10 a.m. to 2:30 p.m., Pine Ridge Volunteer Fire Department, 1892 Pine Ridge Road
July 19, noon to 4:30 p.m., Golden Living Center, 542 Allred Mill Road
July 19, 1:30 to 6 p.m., Boy Scouts at Camp Raven Knob, 266 Raven Knob Road
July 25, noon to 4:30 p.m., Pilot Mountain First United Methodist Church, 210 Marion St.
July 9, 9 a.m. to 1:30 p.m., Mount Zion Baptist Church, 353 Luray Road
July 21, 2 to 6:30 p.m., Union United Methodist Church, 708 Curtis Bridge Road
July 21, 2:30 to 7 p.m., Mt. Pleasant Baptist Church, 239 Champion/Mt. Pleasant Road
July 13, noon to 4:30 p.m., Yadkin Valley Economic Development District. Inc., 533 N. Carolina Ave., Highway 601
July 22, 3 to 7:30 p.m., Forbush Friends Meeting, 4460 Forbush Road
July 8, 1 to 5:30 p.m., Lowes Foods, 948 South State St.
July 21, 10 a.m. to 2:30 p.m., Willowbrook Rehabilitation and Care Center, 333 E. Lee Ave.
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, please visit redcross.org or cruzrojaamericana.org, or visit us on Twitter at @RedCross.