Red Cross puts out emergency call for blood

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For the first time in eight years, the American Red Cross in Southern California has issued an emergency call for blood and platelets, urging all eligible donors to give now to replenish an extremely low summer blood supply.

While thousands of people from across the country responded to the emergency request for blood and platelet donations issued by the American Red Cross in early July, a critical blood shortage remains. The Red Cross urges eligible donors to give now to help ensure blood is available throughout the rest of the summer to meet patient needs.

At times, blood and platelets are being distributed to hospitals faster than donations are coming in, which impacts the ability to rebuild the blood supply. Right now, the Red Cross has less than a five-day blood supply on hand. The Red Cross strives to have a five-day supply at all times to meet the needs of patients every day and be prepared for emergencies that may require significant volumes of donated blood products.

“The Red Cross continues to have an emergency need for blood and platelet donors to give now and help save patient lives,” says Jay Winkenbach, donor recruitment director of the Southern California Blood Services Region. “We are grateful for those who have already stepped up this summer to give and want to remind those who are eligible that hospital patients are still counting on them to roll up a sleeve.”

Blood and platelets are needed for many different reasons. Accident and burn victims, heart surgery patients, organ transplant patients, and those receiving treatment for leukemia, cancer or sickle cell disease may all need blood.

Donors of all blood types are urgently needed to help restock the shelves. The Red Cross is thanking those who come in to donate blood or platelets before August 31 by emailing them a $5 Amazon.com gift card claim code.

Blood donation opportunities:

Corona – August 1: 1:30 to 7:30 p.m., Corona Regional Medical Center, 800 S Main St.

Lake Elsinore – August 4: 4 to 9 p.m., Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, 18220 Dexter Ave.

Lake Elsinore – August 11: 9:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m., Lake Elsinore Cultural Center, 183 North Main

Murrieta – July 27: noon to 6 p.m., Rancho Springs Medical Center, 25520 Medical Drive

August 8: noon to 6 p.m., Rancho Springs Medical Center, 25520 Medical Drive

August 11: 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., Wal-Mart, 41200 Murrieta Hot Springs Rd

Temecula – August 8: 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., Bank of America, 27489 Ynez Rd

August 10: 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., Optiforms, 42310 Winchester Road

August 12: noon to 6 p.m., Temecula Valley Hospital, 31700 Temecula Parkway

To schedule an appointment to donate, visit www.redcrossblood.org or call 1-800-RED CROSS (1-800-733-2767).

The Red Cross is extending hours at many donation sites to allow for more donors to make an appointment to give. Donation appointments and completion of a www.redcrossblood.org/RapidPass”RapidPass online health history questionnaire are encouraged to avoid longer wait times. Donors with all blood types are needed.

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