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Red Cross faces national blood shortage, say officials


Officials with the American Red Cross announce the organization is experiencing a national blood shortage.

Fewer donors than needed gave blood over the summer, drawing down the national blood supply and reducing distributions of some of the most needed blood types to hospitals, according to officials. Hurricane Idalia further strained the blood supply with blood drive cancellations and reduced blood and platelet donations in affected areas, they added.  

Donors of all blood types are urgently needed, and there is an emergency need for platelet donors and type O blood donors to give blood to ensure patients across the country continue to receive critical medical care, officials note. 

According to the Red Cross, when Hurricane Idalia slammed into the Southeast – leading to widespread power outages, travel hazards and flooding – the storm also forced the cancellation of over a dozen blood drives and caused hundreds of blood and platelet donations to go uncollected.

“This compounded a shortfall of about 30,000 donations in August,” said officials. “Right now, blood product distributions to hospitals are outpacing the number of blood donations coming in.”

A Red Cross Blood Drive will be held from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Sept. 25 at the First United Methodist Church, 503 W. Main St. in West Plains, in the fellowship hall on the first floor.

Call 800-Red CrossBlood to make an appointment, or go to redcrossblood.org to get an online appointment. Donors may also use the Red Cross Blood Donor app to set a time to give blood.

Donors who give blood through September will also receive a coupon for a free haircut by email, thanks to Sport Clips Haircuts, and they will be automatically entered for a chance to win a VIP NASCAR racing experience.

Details are available at RedCrossBlood.org/RaceToGive.