American Red Cross reports donation shortage

The American Red Cross is facing a critical blood shortage and has issued an emergency call for donations Wednesday.

Overall, the summer months are among the most challenging times of the year for blood and platelet donations as regular donors delay giving while they vacation and take part in summer activities.

The American Red Cross says this is the time of year when blood donations drop.

"It's crucial that people donate now to meet the needs of patients every day and to be prepared for emergencies that require significant volumes of donated blood", said Christy Peters, external communications manager of the Western Lake Erie Blood Services Region.

To be eligible you must be feeling healthy, are not on blood thinners, and have not traveled out of the US recently.

To help alleviate the shortage, local Red Cross staffers and volunteers are holding extra blood drives throughout south-central Wisconsin during the next three weeks.

Those interested in donating can make an appointment at the redcrossblood.org or at 1-800-733-2767. The Red Cross must collect almost 14,000 blood donations every day for patients at approximately 2,600 hospitals across the country. The Red Cross also advises individuals to complete a RapidPass online health history questionnaire to help speed up the donation process. The 4th of July holiday and summer vacation plans can impact donation numbers as well. The website also is a good resource for information about how to prepare for a blood donation and it answers questions about whether people are eligible to donate, he said.

  • Santos West