The American Red Cross is issuing an emergency call for blood and platelet donors after about 61,000 fewer donations were given during the last two months, causing a significant draw down of the Red Cross blood supply.
Donations are critically needed now so that patients can continue to receive lifesaving treatments.
According to the Red Cross, every two seconds in the United States blood and platelets are needed to respond to patient emergencies, including accident and burn victims, heart surgery and organ transplant procedures, and patients receiving treatment for leukemia, cancer or sickle cell disease.
“It’s crucial that people donate now to meet the needs of patients every day and to be prepared for emergencies that require significant volumes of donated blood,” said Nick Gehrig, communications director, Red Cross Blood Services. “Every day, blood and platelet donors can help save lives, and right now these heroes are needed to give as soon as possible.”
Blood shortages often worsen around Independence Day due to many fewer volunteer-hosted blood drives at places of work, worship or community gathering, and this year is no exception. According to the American Red Cross, nearly 700 fewer blood drives are scheduled during the Independence Day week than the weeks before and after the holiday.
Overall, the summer months are among the most challenging times of the year for blood and platelet donations as regular donors delay giving while they vacation and participate in summer activities.
In a recent survey of Red Cross blood donors, more than 73 percent indicated vacation plans this summer, many of them occurring the weeks before and after Independence Day.
New donors and those who haven’t given in a while are especially encouraged to roll up a sleeve and help save lives. Nearly one-third fewer new blood donors came out to give last summer than during the rest of the year due in part to schools – where blood drives are held and where new donors give – being out of session during the summer months.
Those who wish to help may schedule an appointment to donate using the free blood donor app (http://www.redcrossblood.org/bloodapp). Appointments can also be scheduled on the Red Cross website at redcross.org or by calling 800-733-2767. 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. Donation appointments and completion of a RapidPass (redcrossblood.org/RapidPass) online health history questionnaire are encouraged to help reduce the time it takes to donate.
Here is a list of local upcoming blood donation opportunities:
July 25 from 8:30 a.m. to 8:30 p.m. at MVP Cars, 27910 Eucalyptus Ave.
July 21 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. at Wal-Mart, 41200 Murrieta Hot Springs Rd.
July 21 from 12 to 6 p.m. at Rancho Springs Medical Center, 25520 Medical Dr.
July 21 from 2 to 8 p.m. and July 22 from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. at KLOS Radio, 6235 River Crest Dr, Ste. A.
July 14 from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. at Wal-Mart, 32225 Hwy 79 South.
July 15 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. at Starbucks, 29588 Rancho California Rd., Ste. K-13.
July 20 from 2 to 8 p.m. at KLOS Radio, Embassy Suites, 29345 Rancho California Rd.
July 22 from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. at KLOS Radio, Embassy Suites, 29345 Rancho California Rd.
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, visit redcross.org.