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Blood emergency: Red Cross issues urgent call for blood and platelet donors

July 15, 2019 11:34 am

ALBANY — Following a difficult Fourth of July week for blood and platelet donations and ongoing challenges finding new blood donors, the American Red Cross now faces a blood shortage and has issued an emergency call for eligible individuals of all blood types to give now and prevent delays in medical care.

About 450 fewer blood drives were organized by businesses and other community groups last week than during a typical week as people across the country celebrated the holiday with activities and travel. This led to about 17,000 fewer blood donations than needed for patients in a single week, causing the Red Cross to now have less than a three-day supply of most blood types available — and less than a two-day supply of type O blood — for patients. At least a five-day supply is desired.

Missing Types sees encouraging response, but all donors needed now In June, the Red Cross launched the Missing Types campaign to encourage donors — especially new donors and those who have not donated in the past years — to give blood or platelets during the challenging summer months. Through the campaign, the letters A, B and O — letters that make up the main blood groups — disappeared from popular brands to symbolize what happens when blood goes missing from hospital shelves during blood shortages.

Despite an encouraging response to the campaign, blood donations still fell short of expectations in June, resulting in more than 24,000 fewer donations than needed, approximately 3050 fewer donations in the New York-Penn Blood Services Region, causing a significant draw down of the Red Cross blood supply.

Donors of all blood types, especially type O, are urged to make an appointment to donate using the Blood Donor App, at RedCrossBlood.org or by calling 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.

Those interested in hosting a blood drive can learn more and sign up to sponsor a drive this summer by visiting RedCrossBlood.org/HostADrive.

Upcoming blood donation opportunities July 9-31

Columbia County

Livingston Pumper Company 1, Route 9, Livingston, 1-6 p.m. July 19.

Dutchess County

Moose Lodge 904, 1273 Route 9G, Hyde Park, noon-5 p.m. July 26.

Vassar Brothers Medical Center, 45 Reade Place, Poughkeepsie, 11 a.m.-4 p.m. July 12.

LaGrange Fire Co No 2, Rt. 55, 504 Freedom Plains Road, Poughkeepsie, 1:30-6:30 p.m. July 12.

Poughkeepsie Galleria, 2001 South Road, Poughkeepsie, 10 a.m.-2 p.m. July 20.

Orthopedic Associates of Dutchess County, 1910 South Road, Poughkeepsie, noon-5 p.m. July 22.

Boardman Road Branch Library, 141 Boardman Road, Poughkeepsie, 2-7 p.m. July 23.

Arlington Professional Firefighters, 213 Vassar Road, Red Oaks Mill Fire Co. Station 3, Poughkeepsie, 1-6 p.m. July 25.

VFW Post 5913 Wappingers Falls, 8 School St., Wappingers Falls, 2-7 p.m. July 17.

Greene County

Catskill Elks Lodge Hall, 45 North Jefferson Ave., Catskill, noon-6 p.m. July 15.

American Legion Post 291, 54 Maple Ave., Greenville, 2-7 p.m. July 30.

Sgt. James F. Carty, D.S.C. VFW Post 1545, 5565 State Route 23, Windham, 2-6 p.m. July 26.

Ulster County

Town of Gardiner, 2340 Route 44/55, Gardiner, 1-6 p.m. July 15.

Mid Hudson Valley Federal Credit Union, 1099 Morton Blvd., Kingston, 9:30 a.m.-2:30 p.m. July 24.

Grace Community Evangelical Free Church, 160 Seremma Court., Lake Katrine, 1-6 p.m. July 30.

Pinnacle Learning Center, 1508 Route 9W, Marlboro, 8 a.m.-1 p.m. July 13.

Saint Francis De Sales, 109 Main St., Phoenicia, 1-6 p.m. July 16.

Saugerties Knights of Columbus Council 4536, 19 Barclay St., Saugerties, 1-6 p.m. July 26.

Woodstock Rescue Squad, 226 Tinker St., Woodstock, noon-6 p.m. July 31.