Red Cross Issues Urgent Call For Blood, Platelet Donations

Red Cross Issues Urgent Call For Blood, Platelet Donations

CREATED Jul 23, 2014

NASHVILLE, Tenn. - The American Red Cross has issued an urgent call for donors, saying they have seen an eight percent decrease over the past three months.

Officials said they have received about 80,000 fewer donations than expected so far this summer, and the number of donors continues to decline.

The shortage is so low that the Red Cross could find itself in an emergency situation in the next few weeks.

Donors with types O negative, B negative and A negative blood are especially needed. Type O negative is the universal blood type and can be transfused to anyone who needs blood. Types A negative and B negative can be transfused to Rh positive or negative patients.

“Hospital patients continue to need lifesaving blood this summer, and they’re relying on the generosity of volunteer donors to give them hope in the days and weeks ahead,” said Tim Ryerson, CEO for the Red Cross Tennessee Valley Blood Services Region. “Please, consider giving the gift of life. Each day donations come up short, less blood is available for patients in need – and you never know when it could be your loved one needing blood.”

There is also an urgent need for platelet donations. Platelets are a key clotting component often needed by cancer patients, burn victims and bone marrow recipients. Platelets must be transfused within five days of donation.

Red Cross officials said donations are typically lower in the summer as regular donors may delay giving while on vacation or while participating in summer activities. Additionally, donations on campuses decrease by more than 80 percent while school is out for summer.

July 13 marked the half-way point for the Red Cross campaign “100 Days of Summer. 100 Days of Hope." For information about how you can give, you can either call 1-800-RED CROSS (1-800-733-2767) or visit redcrossblood.org.