Thousands of people responded to the emergency call for blood and platelet donations issued by the American Red Cross in early July. Still, there continues to be an emergency need for donors of all blood types, especially type O, to give now to address a severe blood shortage.
Red Cross blood donations are being distributed to hospitals faster than they are coming in and right now there is less than a five-day blood supply on hand. The Red Cross strives to keep a five-day supply of blood to meet the needs of patients and to be prepared for emergencies that require significant volumes of donated blood products.
“Patients don’t get a summer break from the need for lifesaving treatments, so it is critical that hospitals have access to blood products each and every day,” said Bernadette Jay, external communications manager of the Appalachian and Mid-Atlantic Blood Services Regions.
“We sincerely appreciate those who have responded to the call to help save lives, but the emergency need remains. Those who haven’t rolled up a sleeve to give are urged to do so today,” said Jay.
There is a particular need for type O blood, which plays an important role in ongoing patient care and emergencies. Type O positive is the most transfused blood type and can be given to patients with any Rh-positive blood type. Type O negative is the universal blood type and can be given to any patient. It’s what emergency room personnel reach for when there is no time to determine the blood type of patients in the most serious situations.
All those who come to donate blood or platelets through August 30 will receive a $5 Amazon.com Gift Card via email. Restrictions apply; see amazon.com/gc-legal.
Donors of all blood types are urged to make an appointment to give by using the free American Red Cross Blood Donor App, by visiting RedCrossBlood.org or by calling 1-800-733-2767.
Blood drives will be held from:
• Noon-5:30 p.m. August 2 at Kilmarnock Baptist Church, 65 East Church Street, Kilmarnock.
• Noon-6 p.m. August 7 at St. Stephen’s Episcopal Church, 6807 Northumberland Highway, Heathsville.
• 2-6 p.m. August 15 at White Stone Church of the Nazarene, 57 Whisk Drive, White Stone.
To give, download the American Red Cross Blood Donor App, visit RedCrossBlood.org or call 1-800-733-2767 for an appointment.
A blood donor card or driver’s license or two other forms of identification are required at check-in. Individuals who are age 17, weigh at least 110 pounds and are in generally good health may be eligible to donate blood.
Blood and platelet donors can save time at their next donation by using RapidPass® to complete their pre-donation reading and health history questionnaire online, on the day of their donation, before arriving at the blood drive. To get started, follow the instructions at RedCrossBlood.org/RapidPass or use the Blood Donor App.