Critical blood shortage

Red Cross urges blood and platelet donors to give now 

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 Tiffany Taylor, external communications manager of the Tennessee Valley Blood Services Region. “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.

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 between July 25 and August 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-RED CROSS (1-800-733-2767). Donation appointments and completion of a RapidPass online health history questionnaire are encouraged to help reduce wait times.

Upcoming area blood donation opportunities July 25-August 15:

Pizza Junction, 5325 Highway 100, Lyles, July 28, 1 – 6 p.m.

Ethridge Church of Christ, 3805 Highway 43, Ethridge, July 25,12:30 – 5:30 p.m.

Summertown Saddle & Bridle Club, 227 Highway 20, Summertown, August 2, 2 – 6 p.m.

Hohenwald Church of Christ, 110 S. Park St., Hohenwald, July 28 1:30 – 5:30 p.m.

Clifton Church of Christ, 205 W. Pillow St., Clifton, August 14, 8:15 a.m. – 12:15 p.m.

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