The American Red Cross has issued an emergency call for blood and platelets, urging all eligible donors to give to replenish a low summer blood supply.
A news release from the charity said 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 draw down of the overall blood supply. In addition, the Independence Day holiday may have caused many regular donors to postpone donations.
“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 Mario Sedlock, director of donor recruitment, Southern Blood Services Region. “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 smartphone app, go to redcrossblood.org or call 1-800-RED CROSS (733-2767). The Red Cross is extending hours at many donation sites to allow for more donors to give. Donation appointments and completion of a RapidPass online health history questionnaire are encouraged to cut 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, volunteering or making a donation to support Red Cross humanitarian work across the country and around the world.
Who donations help
Every two seconds in the United States, blood and platelets are needed to respond to emergencies, including accident and burn victims, heart surgery and organ transplants, and patients receiving treatment for 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 donors, the Red Cross is able to provide blood products to patients like 11-year-old Mae Rainey, who needs blood transfusions as part of her treatment for a blood disorder.
Savannah Technical College’s Liberty Campus, 100 Technical Drive, Hinesville, will host a Red Cross blood drive from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m.
The city of Hinesville, 115 E. M.L. King Jr. Drive, will host a Red Cross blood drive from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.
Calvary Baptist Church, 415 E. Cherry St., Jesup, will host a Red Cross blood drive from noon to 5 p.m.
Wayne Memorial Hospital, 865 S. First St., Jesup, will host a Red Cross blood drive from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. The bloodmobile will be next to the entrance of The Café at Wayne Memorial. Donors will have a chance to win a $25 gift card.
Savannah’s Blood Donation Center is at 25 Tibet Ave.
You can schedule an appointment for any of the drives using the Red Cross Blood Donor smartphone app, go to redcrossblood.org or call 1-800-REDCROSS (733-2767).