Red Cross issues ‘emergency’ call for blood, platelet donations

The Red Cross is asking for the public's help in donating blood and platelets. (File)

The Red Cross is asking for the public’s help in donating blood and platelets. (File)

FROM STAFF REPORTS

The American Red Cross has issued an emergency call for blood and platelets, urging all eligible donors to give now to replenish an extremely low summer blood supply.

Blood 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 significant draw down of the overall Red Cross blood supply.

“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,” Mario Sedlock, director of donor recruitment for the Red Cross Alabama and Central Gulf Coast Blood Services Region, wrote in a statement. “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.”

To schedule an appointment to donate, use the free Blood Donor App, visit 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 RapidPass online health history questionnaire are encouraged to avoid longer wait times. Donors with all blood types are needed.

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. 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.

 

The following are upcoming local blood donation dates and times:

July 7 from 7:30 a.m. – 3 p.m. at the Caldwell Trace Donor Center, 700 Caldwell Trace in Birmingham

July 8 from 7:30 a.m. – 3 p.m. at the Caldwell Trace Donor Center

July 9 from 7:30 a.m. – 3 p.m. at the Caldwell Trace Donor Center

July 10 from 7:30 a.m. – 2:45 p.m. at the Caldwell Trace Donor Center

July 11 from Noon – 6 p.m. at the Caldwell Trace Donor Center

July 12 from noon – 6 p.m. at the Caldwell Trace Donor Center

July 13 from 7:30 a.m. – 2:45 p.m. at the Caldwell Trace Donor Center

July 14 from 7:30 a.m. – 3 p.m. at the Caldwell Trace Donor Center

July 15 from 7:30 a.m. – 3 p.m. at the Caldwell Trace Donor Center

July 16 from 7:30 a.m. – 3 p.m. at the Caldwell Trace Donor Center

July 17 from 7:30 a.m. – 2:45 p.m. at the Caldwell Trace Donor Center

July 18 from 2 – 7 p.m., Riverchase Galleria, 3000 Riverchase Galleria Birmingham

July 18 from Noon – 6 p.m., at the Caldwell Trace Donor Center

July 19 from 7:30 a.m. – 1:30 p.m. at the Caldwell Trace Donor Center

July 21 from7:30 a.m. – 3 p.m. at the Caldwell Trace Donor Center

July 22 from 7:30 a.m. – 3 p.m. at the Caldwell Trace Donor Center

July 23 from 7:30 a.m. – 3 p.m. at the Caldwell Trace Donor Center

July 25 from Noon – 6 p.m. at the Caldwell Trace Donor Center

July 26 from 9 a.m.-2 p.m. at the Pelham Public Library