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Red Cross: Blood shortage critical

While thousands of people from across the country responded to the emergency request for blood and platelet donations issued by the American Red Cross in early July, a critical blood shortage remains. The Red Cross urges eligible donors to give now to help ensure blood is available throughout the rest of the summer to meet patient needs.

At times, blood and platelets are being distributed to hospitals faster than donations are coming in, which impacts the ability to rebuild the blood supply. Right now, the Red Cross has less than a five-day blood supply on hand. The Red Cross strives to have a five-day supply at all times to meet the needs of patients every day and be prepared for emergencies that may require significant volumes of donated blood products.

“The Red Cross continues to have an emergency need for blood and platelet donors to give now and help save patient lives,” said Nick Gehrig, communications director for Red Cross Blood Services. “We are grateful for those who have already stepped up this summer to give and want to remind those who are eligible that hospital patients are still counting on them to roll up a sleeve.”

In the U.S., every two seconds someone like Ray Poulin needs blood or platelets. Poulin’s liver and kidneys failed following a serious blood infection. The situation became urgent when his liver hemorrhaged. He was given a 10 percent chance of survival. After receiving 77 units of blood, Poulin defied the odds.

“There was a lot that went into saving my life, but if the blood wasn’t available when I needed it, I wouldn’t be here today,” said Poulin.

Blood and platelets are needed for many different reasons. Accident and burn victims, heart surgery patients, organ transplant patients, and those receiving treatment for leukemia, cancer or sickle cell disease may all need blood.

All blood types urgently needed

Donors of all blood types are urgently needed to help restock the shelves. The Red Cross is thanking those who come in to donate blood or platelets through Aug. 31 by emailing them a $5 Amazon.com gift card claim code.

To schedule an appointment to donate, use the free Blood Donor App, visit redcrossblood.org or call 1-800-733-2767. Donation appointments and completion of a RapidPass online health history questionnaire are encouraged to help reduce wait times.

Upcoming blood drives include:

China Grove

Aug. 7, 1 p.m. – 5:30 p.m., Mt. Moriah Lutheran Church, 750 Mt. Moriah Church Road

Cleveland

Aug. 4, 2 p.m. – 6:30 p.m., Cleveland Lions Den, 106 Cemetery St.

Salisbury

Thursday, 11 a.m. – 3:30 p.m., JF Hurley Family YMCA, 828 Jake Alexander Blvd.

Thursday, 11 a.m. – 3:30 p.m., Genesis Healthcare, 710 Julian Road

Friday, 2 p.m. – 6:30 p.m., Christ United Methodist Church Salisbury, 3401 Mooresville Road

Friday, 2 p.m. – 6:30 p.m., Lowes Home Improvement, 207 Faith Road

Sunday, 1 p.m. – 5:30 p.m., Rock Grove United Methodist Church-Salisbury, 1050 Rock Grove Church Road

Aug. 1, 7 a.m. – 11:30 a.m., Innospec Active Chemicals, 500 Hinkle Lane

Aug. 1, 7:30 a.m. – 4:30 p.m., American Red Cross, E.H. Dole Chapter I, 1930 Jake Alexander Blvd West

Aug. 5, 2 p.m. – 7 p.m., St. Matthews Lutheran Church, 9275 Bringle Ferry Road

Aug. 11, 9 a.m. – 1:30 p.m., Novant Health Rowan Medical Center, 612 Mocksville Ave.

Aug. 14, 12 p.m. – 4:30 p.m., Christiana Lutheran Church, 6190 Highway 52

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