Following a difficult Fourth of July week for blood and platelet donations and ongoing challenges finding new blood donors, the American Red Cross now faces a blood shortage and has issued an emergency call for eligible individuals of all blood types to give now and prevent delays in medical care.

About 450 fewer blood drives were organized by businesses and other community groups last week than during a typical week as people across the country celebrated the holiday with activities and travel. This led to about 17,000 fewer blood donations than needed for patients in a single week, causing the Red Cross to now have less than a three-day supply of most blood types available – and less than a two-day supply of type O blood – for patients. At least a five-day supply is desired.

“Medical emergencies and critical treatments don’t stop for holiday celebrations. Patients depend on lifesaving blood transfusions every day,” said Cliff Numark, senior vice president, Red Cross Blood Services. “Right now, the Red Cross only has less than a three-day supply when we need a five-day supply to be prepared for all situations that require blood products. To help meet this need, we’ve added about 8,000 additional appointments at blood donation centers and community blood drives over the next few weeks to accommodate more donors. But we need people to fill those appointments, please join us today.”

In June, the Red Cross launched the Missing Types campaign to encourage donors – especially new donors and those who have not donated in the past years – to give blood or platelets during the challenging summer months. Through the campaign, the letters A, B and O – letters that make up the main blood groups – disappeared from popular brands to symbolize what happens when blood goes missing from hospital shelves during blood shortages.

Despite an encouraging response to the campaign, blood donations still fell short of expectations in June, resulting in more than 24,000 fewer donations than needed about 1,900 fewer here in the Southern California Blood Services Region, and causing a significant draw down of the Red Cross blood supply.

“Blood is only available when generous blood and platelet donors roll up a sleeve to give, and right now, all donors – especially those give have never given or haven’t given in a while – are urged to make an appointment to give today,” Numark added.

Donors of all blood types, especially type O, are urged to make an appointment to donate using the Blood Donor App, at RedCrossBlood.org or by calling 1-800-RED CROSS (1-800-733-2767). Donation appointments and completion of a RapidPass online health history questionnaire are encouraged to help reduce the time it takes to donate.

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

Upcoming blood donation opportunities July 9-31

  

Culver City

7/10/2019: 10:30 a.m. – 4:30 p.m., Corporate Pointe, 300 Corporate Pointe

7/11/2019: 2 p.m. – 7 p.m., American Legion Post 46, 5309 Sepulveda Blvd

7/18/2019: 1 p.m. – 7 p.m., Culver Palms United Methodist Church, 4464 Sepulveda Blvd

7/25/2019: 2 p.m. – 7 p.m., American Legion Post 46, 5309 Sepulveda Blvd

   

Los Angeles

7/22/2019: 10 a.m. – 4 p.m., 10100 Santa Monica Blvd, 10100 Santa Monica

7/23/2019: 10 a.m. – 4 p.m., BH GLAAR, 6330 San Vicente Boulevard

7/25/2019: 10 a.m. – 4 p.m., USC Village, 3015 S Hoover St, Building 1-189

7/29/2019: 10 a.m. – 4 p.m., California State University Los Angeles Lot 4, 5151 State University Dr

  

Playa del Rey

7/15/2019: 10 a.m. – 4 p.m., Del Rey Church, 8505 Saran Drive

  

Santa Monica

7/12/2019: 10 a.m. – 4 p.m., Community Center, 2500 Broadway

7/15/2019: 1 p.m. – 7 p.m., American Red Cross Santa Monica Chapter, 1450 11th St

7/22/2019: 1 p.m. – 7 p.m., American Red Cross Santa Monica Chapter, 1450 11th St

7/29/2019: 1 p.m. – 7 p.m., American Red Cross Santa Monica Chapter, 1450 11th St

  

Venice

7/11/2019: 8:30 a.m. – 2:30 p.m., Venice Skills Center, 611 5th Ave

  

West Los Angeles

7/13/2019: 9 a.m. – 3 p.m., American Red Cross Greater Los Angeles Chapter, 11355 Ohio Ave

7/27/2019: 9 a.m. – 3 p.m., American Red Cross Greater Los Angeles Chapter, 11355 Ohio Ave

Submitted by Christine Welch, American Red Cross, California Blood Services Region

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1 Comment

  1. Do they take platelets at the blood drives or just whole blood? I wish there was an ARC donor center on the Westside. I live in Santa Monica and if I want to donate platelets, I have to go to Woodland Hills.

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