WXXI AM News

Red Cross issues urgent call for blood donations

Jul 9, 2018

The American Red Cross is reporting an emergency blood shortage, and is issuing an urgent call for blood donors.

Spokesperson Patty Corvaia says the Independence Day holiday week resulted in hundreds fewer blood drives, and blood is going into hospitals at a faster rate than it’s coming in.

“We have to a have a minimum of five days supply of blood on hand at all times, in order to make sure that we have enough blood for any emergency that could happen, at a community level or at a national level,” she said.

Corvaia says the need is especially critical for type O blood donors. 

Credit npr.org

She says that blood type is especially important when the Red Cross responds to an emergency,.

“Be it a car accident or other things that may happen, any kind of trauma, the emergency personnel will reach for that O negative blood off the shelf, if they don’t have time to determine the patient’s blood type, because they know that anybody can receive it,” she said it.

Corvaia says there are three easy ways to schedule an appointment.

“One is to visit redcrossblood.org.  You can type in your zip code and the page populates with all the blood drives in your area.  You can call 1-800 RED CROSS and speak to one of our customer care associates and they can let you know, or you can download the blood donor app,” she said.

By using the app, donors can not only make an appointment, they can track their “blood journey,” -- when the blood was processed, when it went to a hospital and given to a patient.