Red Cross Announces an Emergency Need for Blood

Jul 26, 2016

The American Red Cross is urging area residents to donate blood and platelets throughout the rest of the summer.

Red Cross spokesman Joe Zydlo says blood supplies are usually lower in June and early July, but he says they are significantly lower this year...partly due to unfortunate timing.

"We had taken a survey across the country and 75% of our donors had said that they were vacationing the week before the 4th of July or the week after. That's really made a big dent in that time, to where it's brought us to a point where it's gone from an urgent need to an emergency need."

Zydlo says blood and platelets are being distributed to hospitals faster than donations are coming in, which makes it difficult to rebuild the blood supply.
 
"We're getting the blood out to people, but at the same time, we want to keep a certain amount of storage in case there's a disaster or something really bad happens where we need to extend ourselves."

Zydlo says all blood types are needed as are platelets.

He says the Red Cross strives to have a five-day supply at all times to meet the needs of patients every day, but, right now, there is less than a five-day supply on hand.

There are a number of blood drives scheduled in the area between now and the middle of August for donors to come out and help. A list of the drives can be found at redcrossblood.org or on the free Blood Donor App.