Red Cross has critical blood shortage

American Red Cross blood donations fell short over recent months which has called for an urgent demand for donations to help save lives.

Red Cross officials said there are about 61,000 fewer donations than needed for the past two months, causing a significant draw down of the Red Cross blood supply.

The Red Cross has added more than 25,000 additional appointment slots at donation centers and community blood drives across the country over the next few weeks to accommodate more donors. "Hopefully, the opportunity to receive a free amusement park ticket will remind people to make summer blood donation a priority". A blood donor card or driver's license or two other forms of identification are required at check-in.

"Oh, I donate like six times a year", said Albert Carr, a volunteer with the American Red Cross.

The Red Cross says the blood shortage often worsens around the Fourth of July because there are fewer volunteer-driven blood drives during around the holiday, almost 700 fewer blood drives are scheduled during the Independence Day week than the weeks before and after the holiday.

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The Blood Bank of Delmarva is also in need of donations of all blood types, but especially O Negative, the universal blood type.

There is a critical blood shortage, according to Joe Zydio, Red Cross external communications manager of the Missouri-Illinois Blood Services Region.

New donors and those that haven't donated in awhile are encouraged to do so as well. Scheduling an appointment and completing an online RapidPass questionnaire can reduce the time it takes to donate. The 4th of July holiday and summer vacation plans can impact donation numbers as well.

For more information or to find a center near you, visit the American Red Cross website.

  • Myrtle Hill