Calling all donors

Make no mistake about it: The American Red Cross’ plea – actually, its emergency call – for blood donations means there is a critical shortage.

The Red Cross has started 2019 with a blood shortage.

Lives are at stake.

Every two seconds, someone in the United States needs blood.

Due to natural disasters and the government shutdown, the American Red Cross has lost blood drive locations that cannot be made up.

The mission for the Red Cross is to prevent and alleviate human suffering in the face of emergencies and it does that through the generosity of donors and the power of giving.

Blood is essential for surgeries, chronic illness, traumatic injuries and much more.

A single car accident can require as much as 100 pints of blood.

The Red Cross collected more than 27,000 fewer blood and platelet donations the weeks of Christmas and New Year’s than needed to sustain a sufficient blood supply.

During this period, about 1,350 fewer blood drives were hosted by volunteer sponsor groups than required to meet patient needs as busy holiday schedules kept many donors away.

Right now, the Red Cross has less than a three-day supply of most blood types on hand, well below the ideal five-day supply needed to respond to emergencies and daily hospital needs.

Blood products are currently being distributed to hospitals faster than donations are coming in, the agency says.

Call 1-800-RED CROSS (1-800-733-2767).

Go to www.RedCrossBlood.org.

Send an email to customercare@redcross.org.

Schedule an appointment or find a blood or platelet donation drive by using the free Blood Donor App, online at www.redcrossblood.org.

The Red Cross urges all eligible donors, especially platelet donors and those with type O blood, to make an appointment to help restock its shelves.

Volunteer blood drive hosts are also needed.

Please don’t take this shortage for granted.

Give blood.

Do it now if you’re even thinking about it.

Consider if any of your loved ones needed blood … and it wasn’t available.

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