By: Rodney Wilson, American Red Cross—
Blood supply dwindles after donations lagged during Fourth of July holiday week
Fort Wayne, IN — An emergency blood shortage is prompting the American Red Cross to issue an urgent call for eligible donors of all blood types – especially type O – to give now and help save lives.
The Red Cross escalated its call for blood and platelet donors after a difficult Independence Day week for donations. More than 550 fewer blood drives were organized by businesses and other community groups last week than during a typical week as individuals across the country celebrated the holiday and enjoyed summer activities. This could equate to as many as 15,000 fewer donations than needed, causing donations to now be distributed to hospitals faster than they come in.
“Each and every day, individuals across the country depend on blood and platelet donations for lifesaving treatments and emergency care, so it’s critical that people donate now to meet these needs,” said Cliff Numark, senior vice president, Red Cross Blood Services. “Whether you’ve never donated or give a couple of times a year, you’re needed to give as soon as possible to help save patient lives. Yours may be the donation a patient is counting on.”
The Red Cross provides donated blood to 80 hospitals across the Indiana-Ohio Blood Services Region, and needs an average of 500 blood donations each day to support patient care across Indiana and northwest Ohio.
This need is especially critical for type O blood donors. Type O is the most in-demand blood type and often the first be depleted from hospital shelves during a shortage. Type O negative is the universal blood type and what emergency room personnel reach for when there is no time to determine the blood type ofpatients in the most serious situations. Type O positive is the most common blood type and can be transfused to Rh-positive patients of any blood type.
How to help
To schedule an appointment to donate, use the free Red Cross Blood Donor App, visit RedCrossBlood.orgor call 1-800-RED CROSS (1-800-733-2767). The Red Cross has added about 6,500 additional appointment slots at donation centers and community blood drivesacross the country over the next few weeks to accommodate more donors. Donation appointments and completion of a RapidPassonline health history questionnaire are encouraged to help reduce the time it takes to donate.
Who blood donations help
Because of generous donors, the Red Cross is able to provide blood products for patients like 9-month-old Krew Anderson. Krew is a happy, laid-back baby boy. His wide grin frames two tiny teeth. He likes to play with balloons and just experienced his first boat ride and fireworks show, but Krew has faced more challenges in the last four months than many people will experience in a lifetime.
In March, Krew was diagnosed with acute myeloid leukemia, a type of cancer that causes bone marrow to produce a large number of abnormal blood cells. Since then, he has gone through four rounds of chemotherapy and received 15 blood and platelet transfusions to date.
“The first time he got [a transfusion], I was just super nervous and didn’t know really what was happening,” said his mother, Stephanie Anderson. “Now, when he gets one, I’m like, ‘Yes, please, get him some blood to help him get more energy and back to normal.’”
Krew’s father, Richard Anderson, donated blood a couple of times a year prior to his son’s diagnosis, but after seeing Krew receive blood, he now plans to give as soon as he’s eligible again.
“For me, just knowing that if it happened to me, it can happen to anyone. I want to make sure there’s enough blood out there for everyone, and that there’s no shortage,” he said.
Missing Types sees encouraging increase in newdonors – all donors needed now
Facing a decline of about 80,000 new Red Cross blood donors each year for the past several years, the Red Cross launched the Missing Types campaignin June to encourage new donors, and those who have not given recently, to donate blood. While the campaign has already inspired thousands of new donors to give, the Red Cross is now calling on alleligible blood and platelet donors to roll up a sleeve as soon as possible to overcome the emergency blood shortage.
Through the Missing Types campaign, which runs throughout the summer, the letters A, B and O – letters used to identify blood types – disappeared from corporate logos, celebrity social media accounts and favorite websites to illustrate the critical role every blood donor plays in ensuring blood is never missing from hospital shelves.
Upcoming blood donation opportunities July 9-31:
7/13/2018: 2 p.m. – 7 p.m., YMCA Northwest, 3500 N. Chadam Lane
7/19/2018: 1 p.m. – 6 p.m., Riverview Church of the Nazarene, 2600 E Willard
7/19/2018: 4 p.m. – 8:30 p.m., Trinity Park United Methodist Church, 207 W Park Avenue
7/23/2018: 10 a.m. – 3 p.m., Co-Alliance, 5250 E US Hwy 36, Building 1000
7/16/2018: 1 p.m. – 6 p.m., Ponderosa Steakhouse, 5009 S Scatterfield Road
7/27/2018: 2 p.m. – 8 p.m., Madison Park Church of God, 6607 Providence Drive
7/23/2018: 2 p.m. – 7:30 p.m., Fall Creek Christian Church, 1102 W 700 S
7/11/2018: 10 a.m. – 4 p.m., Salesforce – Capitol Avenue, 433 North Capital Avenue
7/14/2018: 9 a.m. – 3 p.m., Indianapolis Marriott East, 7202 East 21st Street
7/16/2018: 10 a.m. – 4 p.m., American Red Cross, 1510 North Meridian
7/20/2018: 9 a.m. – 3 p.m., Indiana Government Center South, 302 West Washington Street
7/26/2018: 10 a.m. – 3 p.m., IU Health University Hospital, 550 University Blvd
7/30/2018: 9 a.m. – 2 p.m., Belcan, 5420 W. Southern Ave #400
7/11/2018: 2 p.m. – 6 p.m., Culver’s, 90 Johnson Blvd.
7/12/2018: 1 p.m. – 6 p.m., Bartholomew County Library, 536 5th Street
7/9/2018: 2 p.m. – 7 p.m., Hope Moravian Church, 202 Main Street
7/11/2018: 8 a.m. – 12 p.m., Clay County YMCA, 225 E Kruzan Street
7/29/2018: 11 a.m. – 4 p.m., Walmart, 710 E. Freeland Rd.
7/10/2018: 1 p.m. – 6 p.m., First United Methodist Church, 240 Poplar
7/12/2018: 2 p.m. – 7 p.m., Jennings County Elementary, 810 West Walnut Street
7/27/2018: 10 a.m. – 3 p.m., Saint Vincent Jennings Hospital, 301 Henry Street
7/16/2018: 12 p.m. – 5 p.m., Walmart Greenwood, 1133 N. Emerson Rd
7/26/2018: 1 p.m. – 7 p.m., Indian Creek High School, 803 West Indian Creek Drive
7/20/2018: 2 p.m. – 6 p.m., Lawrence County Fair, 11265 US Hwy 50 W
7/25/2018: 9 a.m. – 3 p.m., Walmart, 3200 John Williams Blvd.
7/30/2018: 2 p.m. – 7 p.m., Hillcrest Christian Church, 1130 Hillcrest Road
7/9/2018: 12 p.m. – 6 p.m., Mitchell Church of Christ, 1004 Main Street
7/10/2018: 10 a.m. – 4 p.m., Indiana University Ballantine Hall, 500 University Rd.
7/11/2018: 12 p.m. – 6 p.m., Bloomington Blood Donation Center, 1600 W. 3rd St.
7/11/2018: 1 p.m. – 7 p.m., Sherwood Oaks Christian Church, 2700 E. Rogers Road
7/12/2018: 12 p.m. – 6 p.m., Bloomington Blood Donation Center, 1600 W. 3rd St.
7/13/2018: 10 a.m. – 4 p.m., Bloomington Blood Donation Center, 1600 W. 3rd St.
7/18/2018: 12 p.m. – 6 p.m., Bloomington Blood Donation Center, 1600 W. 3rd St.
7/19/2018: 12 p.m. – 6 p.m., Bloomington Blood Donation Center, 1600 W. 3rd St.
7/20/2018: 10 a.m. – 4 p.m., Bloomington Blood Donation Center, 1600 W. 3rd St.
7/21/2018: 8 a.m. – 12 p.m., Bloomington Blood Donation Center, 1600 W. 3rd St.
7/24/2018: 10 a.m. – 3 p.m., Monroe County Public Library, 303 East Kirkwood Ave
7/25/2018: 12 p.m. – 6 p.m., Bloomington Blood Donation Center, 1600 W. 3rd St.
7/26/2018: 12 p.m. – 6 p.m., Bloomington Blood Donation Center, 1600 W. 3rd St.
7/27/2018: 10 a.m. – 4 p.m., Bloomington Blood Donation Center, 1600 W. 3rd St.
7/28/2018: 8 a.m. – 12 p.m., Bloomington Blood Donation Center, 1600 W. 3rd St.
7/19/2018: 1:30 p.m. – 7:30 p.m., Core Fitness Club, 149 E High Street
7/25/2018: 11 a.m. – 4 p.m., Milan Public Library, 1171 N. Warpath Drive
7/24/2018: 2 p.m. – 6:30 p.m., Rush County Circuit Court, 101 E. 2nd Street
7/13/2018: 1 p.m. – 6 p.m., Union County High School, 410 Patriot Blvd.
7/19/2018: 4 p.m. – 8 p.m., Honey Creek Mall, 3401 South Highway 41
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.