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Red Cross: Critical type O blood shortage; donors needed now

Red Cross: Critical type O blood shortage; donors needed now

WMSK Staff

May 14th, 2019

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All donors who come to give by June 10 receive a $5 Amazon.com Gift Card in thanks

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (May 14, 2019) — The American Red Cross has a critical shortage of type O blood and urges eligible donors to give now to help patients facing trauma and other life-threatening situations. As a thank-you for helping replenish the blood supply, all donors who come to give blood or platelets now through June 10 will receive a $5 Amazon.com Gift Card via email.

Right now, the Red Cross has less than a two-day supply of type O blood available for emergency rooms, where it can be most critical. That means just six units of type O blood are available for every 100,000 people, but at least 14 are needed every day. While just 7% of the U.S. population has type O negative blood, it can be transfused to patients with any blood type and is what hospital staff reach for during emergencies when there isn’t time to determine a patient’s blood type. Type O positive blood is the most transfused blood type and is also critical in trauma situations.

“All blood types are urgently needed, but we’re facing a critical shortage of type O blood – the blood group most needed by hospitals,” said Cliff Numark, senior vice president, Red Cross Blood Services. “Because it’s vitally important for hospitals to have type O blood available when every second counts, type O donors are urged to donate now and make a point to donate often.”

The Red Cross collected approximately 11,500 fewer type O blood donations than needed to sustain a sufficient blood supply. Spring break schedules are known to decrease blood donations, and schools, including high schools and colleges, begin to host fewer blood drives in late spring as the school year ends. Because these drives account for about 20% of blood donations during the school year, less drives can also greatly affect the blood supply.

Donations needed now 

Donors of all blood types, especially type O, are urged to urged to make an appointment to donate using the Blood Donor App, at RedCrossBlood.org or by calling 1-800-RED CROSS (1-800-733-2767). Eligible donors with type O blood are encouraged to make a whole blood or Power Red donation, where available. During a Power Red donation, donors give a concentrated dose of red blood cells during a single donation, allowing them to maximize their impact.

In thanks, all those who come to donate blood or platelets with the Red Cross May 1 through June 10, 2019, will receive a $5 Amazon.com Gift Card via email. (Restrictions apply; see amazon.com/gc-legal. More information and details are available at RedCrossBlood.org/Together.) Additionally, those who come to give May 24-28 will receive an exclusive Red Cross-branded T-shirt, while supplies last. 

How blood shortages affect hospitals

Blood shortages are not uncommon and can have a direct impact on patient care. Dr. Atif Shafqat, an oncologist and hematologist at Missouri Baptist Medical Center in St. Louis, says that hospitals face consistent shortages of blood products year-round, even causing some surgeons to delay elective procedures because of individual shortages. “When I ask our blood bank director the toughest part of her job, she always tells me it is these shortages and how to deal with them,” he said.

Despite these challenges, hospitals and the Red Cross work to ensure patients have the blood products they need, but that can only happen when a volunteer donor rolls up a sleeve to give. “This is all possible thanks to the volunteers and the blood donors who are giving this generous gift,” said Shafqat.

How to help

Eligible donors can find a blood or platelet donation opportunity and schedule an appointment to donate by using the free Blood Donor App, visiting RedCrossBlood.org or calling 1-800-RED CROSS (1-800-733-2767). Donation appointments and completion of a RapidPass® are encouraged to help speed up the donation process. RapidPass lets donors complete the pre-donation reading and answer the health history questionnaire online, on the day of their donation, from the convenience of a mobile device or computer, or through the Blood Donor App.

Those interested in hosting a blood drive can learn more and sign up to sponsor a drive this summer by visiting RedCrossBlood.org/HostADrive.

Upcoming blood donation opportunities May 14-June 8:

21 SE Third Street Building, 21 S.E. 3rd Evansville, IN 47708

5/28/2019: 9 a.m. – 1 p.m.

Antioch Christian Church / New Building, 3007 East US Highway 50 Washington, IN 47501

5/23/2019: 1 – 5 p.m.

Bethel Mennonite Church, 9335 North 900 E. Odon, IN 47562

5/24/2019: 2 – 7:30 p.m.

Community Baptist Church, 1026 Pebble Creek Drive Henderson, KY 42420

6/5/2019: 2 – 6 p.m.

Daviess County Sheriff’s Department, 101 NE 4th St. Washington, IN 47501

5/23/2019: 12:30 – 4:30 p.m.

Deaconess Clinic Downtown, 421 Chestnut St. Evansville, IN 47713

5/21/2019: 9:30 a.m. – 2:30 p.m.

Downtown Evansville Community Drive, Mulberry St. Evansville, IN 47710

5/22/2019: 7:30 a.m. – 11:30 a.m.

Evansville Blood Donation Center, 29 North Stockwell Road Evansville, IN 47714

5/14/2019: 12:30 – 7:30 p.m.

5/15/2019: 12:30 p.m. – 7:15 p.m.

5/17/2019: 8 a.m. – 3 p.m.

5/18/2019: 8 a.m. – 3 p.m.

5/20/2019: 12:30 p.m. – 7:15 p.m.

5/21/2019: 12:30 p.m. – 7:30 p.m.

5/22/2019: 12:30 p.m. – 7:15 p.m.

5/24/2019: 8 a.m. – 3 p.m.

5/25/2019: 8 a.m. – 3 p.m.

5/27/2019: 8 a.m. – 2:45 p.m.

5/28/2019: 12:30 p.m. – 7:30 p.m.

5/29/2019: 12:30 p.m. – 7:15 p.m.

5/31/2019: 8 a.m. – 3 p.m.

6/1/2019: 8 a.m. – 3 p.m.

6/3/2019: 12:30 p.m. – 7:15 p.m.

6/4/2019: 12:30 p.m. – 7:30 p.m.

6/5/2019: 12:30 p.m. – 7:15 p.m.

6/7/2019: 8 a.m. – 3 p.m.

6/8/2019: 8 a.m. – 3 p.m.

Fifth Third Bank, 20 NW Third St. Evansville, IN 47708

5/30/2019: 9 a.m. – 1 p.m.

First Baptist Church, 802 N. Adams St. Sturgis, KY 42459

5/20/2019: 2 – 6 p.m.

First Mennonite Church, 8002 E 550 N. Montgomery, IN 47558

6/7/2019: 2:30 – 7:30 p.m.

Free Methodist Church, 1155 Troy Road Washington, IN 47501

5/23/2019: 2 – 7 p.m.

Good Shepherd Catholic Church / School, 2301 North Stockwell Evansville, IN 47715

5/26/2019: 8 a.m. – noon

Henderson Community College, 2660 South Green St. Henderson, KY 42420

6/5/2019: 9 a.m. – 1 p.m.

Holy Cross Catholic Church / School, 305 East Walnut St. Fort Branch, IN 47648

5/28/2019: 1:30 – 6:30 p.m.

Huntingburg Elementary School, 501 W. Sunset Drive Huntingburg, IN 47542

5/16/2019: 2 – 7 p.m.

Independence Bank, 76 S. Green St. Henderson, KY 42420

5/29/2019: 9 a.m. – 1 p.m.

Ivy Tech Community College, 3501 First Ave. Evansville, IN 47710

6/4/2019: 9 a.m. – 2 p.m.

Knights of Columbus, 313 West Broadway Princeton, IN 47670

5/20/2019: 2 – 6 p.m.

Newburgh United Methodist Church, 4178 Highway 261 Newburgh, IN 47630

5/29/2019: 3 – 8 p.m.

Perry County Memorial, 8885 IN-237 Tell City, IN 47586

5/30/2019: 8 a.m. – 1 p.m.

Presbyterian Church, 100 South Main St. Henderson, KY 42420

6/3/2019: 1 – 6 p.m.

Schnellville Community Club, 7855 East Market St. Schnellville, IN 47580

5/30/2019: 2 – 7 p.m.

Sharon Elementary School, 7300 Sharon Road Newburgh, IN 47630

5/17/2019: 2 – 7 p.m.

Simon J. Graber Complex, 9335 North 900 E. Odon, IN 47562

5/27/2019: 9 a.m. – 2 p.m.

St. Clement Catholic Church / School, 422 East Sycamore St. Boonville, IN 47601

5/28/2019: 3 – 7 p.m.

St. John the Baptist Catholic Parish, 625 Frame Road Newburgh, IN 47630

5/19/2019: 7:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m.

Three i Design, 2425 West Indiana St. Evansville, IN 47712

5/31/2019: 8:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m.

Union County Middle School, 4465 US Highway 60 W. Morganfield, KY 42437

6/4/2019: 2 – 6 p.m.

VFW Post 2366, 314 Geiger St. Huntingburg, IN 47542

5/21/2019: 3 – 7 p.m.

Walmart – West, 335 South Red Bank Road Evansville, IN 47712

5/28/2019: 10 a.m. – 2 p.m.

Zion Missionary Baptist Church, 1800 S Governor St. Evansville, IN 47713

6/6/2019: 2 – 6 p.m.

About the American Red Cross:

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.

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