Red Cross: Critical Type O Blood Shortage - Donors Needed Now

Health and Fitness

May 14, 2019

From: American Red Cross Connecticut Chapter

Red Cross: Critical Type O Blood Shortage - Donors Needed Now
All donors who come to give by June 10 receive a $5 Amazon.com Gift Card in thanks

Farmington, CT - The American Red Cross has a critical shortage of type O blood and urges eligible donors to give nowto help patients facing trauma and other life-threatening situations. As a thank-you for helping replenish the blood supply, all donors who come to give blood orplatelets now through June 10 will receive a $5 Amazon.com Gift Card via email.

Right now, the Red Cross has less than a two-day supply of type O blood available for emergency rooms, where it can be most critical. That means just six units of type O blood are available for every 100,000 people, but at least 14 are needed every day. While just 7% of the U.S. population has type O negative blood, it can be transfused to patients with any blood type and is what hospital staff reach for during emergencies when there isn’t time to determine a patient’s blood type. Type O positive blood is the most transfused blood type and is also critical in trauma situations.

“All blood types are urgently needed, but we’re facing a critical shortage of type O blood – the blood group most needed by hospitals,” said Cliff Numark, senior vice president, Red Cross Blood Services. “Because it’s vitally important for hospitals to have type O blood available when every second counts, type O donors are urged to donate now and make a point to donate often.”

The Red Cross collectedapproximately 11,500 fewer type O blood donations than needed to sustain a sufficient blood supply. Spring break schedules are known to decrease blood donations, and schools, including high schools and colleges, begin to host fewer blood drives in late spring as school years end. Because these drives account for about 20%of blood donations during the school year, less drives can also greatly affect the blood supply.

Donations needed now:

Donors of all blood types, especially type O, are urged to urged to make an appointment to donate using the Blood Donor App, at RedCrossBlood.org or bycalling 1-800-RED CROSS (1-800-733-2767). Eligible donors with type O blood are encouraged to make a whole blood or Power Red donation, where available. During a Power Red donation, donors give a concentrated dose of red blood cells during a single donation, allowing them to maximize their impact.

In thanks, all those who come to donate blood or plateletswith the Red Cross May 1 through June 10, 2019, will receive a $5 Amazon.com Gift Card via email. (Restrictions apply; see amazon.com/gc-legal. More information and details are available at RedCrossBlood.org/Together.) Additionally, those who come to give May 24-28 will receive an exclusive Red Cross-branded T-shirt, while supplies last.

How blood shortages affect hospitals:

Blood shortages are not uncommon and can have a direct impact on patient care. Dr. Atif Shafqat, an oncologist and hematologist at Missouri Baptist Medical Center in St. Louis, says that hospitals face consistent shortages of blood products year-round, even causing some surgeons to delay elective procedures because of individual shortages. “When I ask our blood bank director the toughest part of her job, she always tells me it is these shortages and how to deal with them,” he said.

Despite these challenges, hospitals and the Red Cross work to ensure patients have the blood products they need, but that can only happen when a volunteer donor rolls up a sleeve to give. “This is all possible thanks to the volunteers and the blood donors who are giving this generous gift,” said Shafqat.

How to help:

Eligible donors can find a blood or plateletdonation opportunity and schedule an appointment to donate by using the free Blood Donor App, visiting RedCrossBlood.org or calling 1-800-RED CROSS (1-800-733-2767). Donation appointments and completion of a RapidPass®are encouraged to help speed up the donation process. RapidPass lets donors complete the pre-donation reading and answer the health history questionnaire online, on the day of their donation, from the convenience of a mobile device or computer, or through the Blood Donor App.

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

Upcoming blood donation opportunities in Fairfield County May 14-June 8:

5/23/2019: 1 p.m. - 6 p.m., Congregation B'nai Israel, 2710 Park Avenue
5/25/2019: 9:30 a.m. - 1:30 p.m., St. Andrews Church, 435 Anton Street

6/4/2019: 1 p.m. - 6:15 p.m., Raymour& Flanigan, 14 Candlewood Lake Road

5/24/2019: 11 a.m. - 4:30 p.m., Danbury Hospital RSM, 24 Hospital Avenue
5/30/2019: 11 a.m. - 4:30 p.m., Danbury Hospital RSM, 24 Hospital Avenue
6/5/2019: 11 a.m. - 4:30 p.m., Danbury Hospital RSM, 24 Hospital Avenue

5/31/2019: 1 p.m. - 6 p.m., Noroton Presbyterian Church, 2011 Post Road

5/24/2019: 1 p.m. - 6:30 p.m., YMCA, 841 Old Post Road
5/28/2019: 12:30 p.m. - 6 p.m., Whole Foods, 350 Grasmere Avenue
5/29/2019: 1:30 p.m. - 6:45 p.m., Gaelic American Club, 74 Beach Road

6/3/2019: 1:30 p.m. - 6:30 p.m., Temple Sholom, 300 East Putnam Avenue

5/30/2019: 1 p.m. - 6 p.m., Dunkin Donuts / Baskin Robbins, 135 Main Street

New Canaan
5/21/2019: 1 p.m. - 6:30 p.m., Saint Mark's Church, 111 Oenoke Ridge Road

New Fairfield
5/30/2019: 1:30 p.m. - 6:30 p.m., St. Edwards Catholic Church, 21 Brush Hill Road, Route 39

6/4/2019: 8:30 a.m. - 6:30 p.m., Newtown Congregational Church, 14 West St.

5/16/2019: 1:30 p.m. - 6:30 p.m., Rowayton Fire House, 136 Rowayton Avenue
5/29/2019: 7:45 a.m. - 1 p.m., Merritt Seven/Venture,L.L.C Building 301, 449 Main Ave
6/3/2019: 12:30 p.m. - 5:30 p.m., Stepping Stones Museum for Children, 303 West Avenue
6/6/2019: 11 a.m. - 4 p.m., Avalon - East Norwalk, 8 Norden Place

5/15/2019: 11 a.m. - 4 p.m., EDR Shelton, 6 Armstrong Road Suite 401
5/17/2019: 8 a.m. - 1:45 p.m., R.D.Scinto, 2 Corporate Drive
5/23/2019: 1 p.m. - 6 p.m., Apple Rehab Shelton Lakes, 5 Lake Road
5/23/2019: 9 a.m. - 2 p.m., Hewitt Health & Rehab Center, 45 Maltby Street

5/25/2019: 8 a.m. - 1 p.m., Tully Health Center, 32 Strawberry Hill Court
6/1/2019: 8 a.m. - 1 p.m., Union Baptist Church, 805 Newfield Avenue
6/4/2019: 12 p.m. - 5 p.m., Bobby Valentine's Sports Academy, 4 Largo Drive S

5/30/2019: 9 a.m. - 2 p.m., Atria Senior Living, 6911 Main Street

5/18/2019: 7:30 a.m. - 12:30 p.m., Spring Meadows, 6949 Main Street
5/21/2019: 1 p.m. - 6 p.m., Holy Trinity Lutheran Church, 406 White Plains Road
5/28/2019: 11:15 a.m. - 4:45 p.m., Cooper Surgical, 95 Corporate Drive
5/29/2019: 1:30 p.m. - 6:30 p.m., Middlebrook Farms of Trumbull, 2750 Reservoir Avenue
6/6/2019: 1:30 p.m. - 6:30 p.m., The Church of Jesus Christ Latter Day Saints, 30 Bonnie View Drive
6/8/2019: 8 a.m. - 1 p.m., Calvary Evangelical Free Church, 498 White Plains Road

5/20/2019: 1 p.m. - 6:30 p.m., Wilton Library, 137 Old Ridgefield Rd.
5/31/2019: 11:30 a.m. - 4:30 p.m., Wilton Meadows Health Care Center, 439 Danbury Road

About the American Red Cross:
The American Red Cross shelters, feeds and provides emotional support to victims of disasters; supplies about 40 percent of the nation's blood; teaches skills that save lives; provides international humanitarian aid; and supports military members and their families. The Red Cross is a not-for-profit organization that depends on volunteers and the generosity of the American public to perform its mission. For more information, please visit redcross.org or cruzrojaamericana.org, or visit us on Twitter at @RedCross.