American Red Cross issues urgent call for blood donations

July 22, 2014
American red cross issues urgent call for blood donations
'Emergency situation' could arise in weeks if shortages continue.

(HealthDay)—Blood donations to the American Red Cross are down substantially, and the agency says an "emergency situation" could arise within weeks.

"Donations through the Red Cross are down approximately 8 percent over the last 11 weeks, resulting in about 80,000 fewer donations than expected," the agency said in a statement released Tuesday. "The number of donors continues to decline."

The looming blood shortage can be blamed, in part, on the calendar: This year, July Fourth fell on a Friday, cutting the number of blood drives the Red Cross could schedule for early July as volunteers went on vacation.

"In an average summer week, about 4,400 Red Cross blood drives are scheduled, compared to Independence Day week when only 3,450 drives occurred," the agency said.

While "all eligible donors" are being urged to give blood, types O negative, B negative and A negative are especially needed, the Red Cross said. Type O is the "universal" blood type, which can be safely used by anyone needing a transfusion.

Also needed are , which allow blood to clot and are often needed by cancer patients, bone marrow recipients and burn victims. These patients need to be given these platelets within five days of donation, so it's essential that a fresh supply of donated platelets always be on hand, the Red Cross said.

The agency reminds Americans that blood can be safely donated every 56 days, and platelets can be donated as often as once a week.

Those deemed eligible to donate blood typically include anyone age 17 or older who weighs at least 110 pounds and is in generally good health. High school students and others aged 18 or younger also have to meet certain height and weight measurements.

"Blood and platelet donations are needed now and for the rest of the summer," the Red Cross said. "Individuals who donated blood earlier this summer may now be eligible to donate again and help patients such as accident victims, heart surgery patients and children with disorders."

Explore further: Red Cross issues emergency call for blood donations

More information: To find out how and where you can donate blood, head to the American Red Cross.

Related Stories

Red Cross issues emergency call for blood donations

July 10, 2013
(HealthDay)—The American Red Cross is sending out an emergency request for blood donors after a recent dip in donations.

US blood supply dips to 'emergency' level: Red Cross

June 26, 2012
The blood supply maintained by the US Red Cross has fallen to "emergency levels" as donations have ebbed due in part to an early warm weather spell, a spokeswoman said on Tuesday.

New stem cell method may eliminate need for blood donations to maintain platelet supply

February 13, 2014
Platelets, whose primary function is to prevent bleeding, are vital for treating various forms of trauma and blood diseases. However, they can only be obtained through blood donations at present. Researchers reporting online ...

Japan man contracts HIV through blood transfusion

November 26, 2013
The Japanese government and Red Cross said Tuesday that a man in his 60s has contracted HIV through a blood transfusion, while testing continued on another patient who received blood from the same donor.

Recommended for you

Women run faster after taking newly developed supplement, study finds

January 19, 2018
A new study found that women who took a specially prepared blend of minerals and nutrients for a month saw their 3-mile run times drop by almost a minute.

Americans are getting more sleep

January 19, 2018
Although more than one in three Americans still don't get enough sleep, a new analysis shows first signs of success in the fight for more shut eye. According to data from 181,335 respondents aged 15 and older who participated ...

Wine is good for you—to a point

January 18, 2018
The Mediterranean diet has become synonymous with healthy eating, but there's one thing in it that stands out: It's cool to drink wine.

Sleep better, lose weight?

January 17, 2018
(HealthDay)—Sleeplessness could cost you when it's time to stand on your bathroom scale, a new British study suggests.

Who uses phone apps to track sleep habits? Mostly the healthy and wealthy in US

January 16, 2018
The profile of most Americans who use popular mobile phone apps that track sleep habits is that they are relatively affluent, claim to eat well, and say they are in good health, even if some of them tend to smoke.

Improvements in mortality rates are slowed by rise in obesity in the United States

January 15, 2018
With countless medical advances and efforts to curb smoking, one might expect that life expectancy in the United States would improve. Yet according to recent studies, there's been a reduction in the rate of improvement in ...

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.