Thousands answer the call, but Red Cross blood shortage continues
July 25, 2017
LANSING — Thousands of people have responded to the emergency call for blood and platelet donations issued by the American Red Cross in early July, but there continues to be a critical summer blood shortage. Eligible donors of all types are urgently needed.
After issuing the emergency call, the Red Cross has experienced a 30 percent increase in blood donation appointments through mid-July. About half of the appointments were scheduled by donors using the free Blood Donor App or at redcrossblood.org. Despite this improvement, blood products are still being distributed to hospitals as fast as donations are coming in, so more donations are needed to meet patient needs and replenish the blood supply.
“The blood supply is like a cell phone battery, it constantly needs recharging,” said Todd Kulman, external communications manager of the Great Lakes Michigan Blood Services Region. “We sincerely appreciate those who have responded to the call to help save lives and encourage those who haven’t to consider rolling up a sleeve and give the gift of life. It only takes about an hour but can mean a lifetime for patients.”
Nearly 61,000 fewer blood donations than needed were given through the Red Cross in May and June, prompting the emergency call for donations in early July. The shortfall was the equivalent of the Red Cross not receiving any blood donations for more than four days.
How to help
To schedule an appointment to donate, use the Blood Donor App, visit redcrossblood.org or call 1-800-RED CROSS (1-800-733-2767). Donation appointments and completion of a RapidPass online health history questionnaire are encouraged to help reduce the time it takes to donate.
As a special thank you, those who come out to give blood or platelets with the Red Cross July 26 through Aug. 31 will be emailed a $5 Target eGiftCard™.*
Who blood and platelet donations help
Blood shortages could lead to delays in patient care, something Arthur Bourget learned firsthand after being diagnosed with leukemia in July 2007. When he arrived for his second blood transfusion, he was told the blood he needed was not available. He waited eight hours for blood to arrive and to receive the transfusion he needed that day.
Upcoming blood donation opportunities
Sault Sainte Marie
8/11/2017: 10 a.m. to 3:45 p.m., Kewadin Casino Sault Ste Marie, 2186 Shunk Rd
7/25/2017: 12 p.m. to 5:45 p.m., Clark Township Community Center, 133 East M 134
8/14/2017: 12 p.m. - 5:45 p.m., Mackinac Island Community Hall, 7358 Market Street
What to know about giving blood
To make an appointment or more information, simply download the American Red Cross Blood Donor App, visit redcrossblood.org or call 1-800-RED CROSS (1-800-733-2767). A blood donor card or driver’s license or two other forms of identification are required at check-in. Individuals who are 17 years of age in most states (16 with parental consent where allowed by state law), weigh at least 110 pounds and are in generally good health may be eligible to donate blood. High school students and other donors 18 years of age and younger also have to meet certain height and weight requirements.