Red Cross Issues Emergency Blood Shortage

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Michele Spring Reporting:

(Thursday, July 12, 2018) Tuscarawas County, Ohio – An emergency blood shortage has prompted the American Red Cross to issue an urgent call for donors.

Over the Independence Day holiday, the request for blood and platelet donors has escalated. There were over 15,000 fewer donations during the typical holiday period.

Communications Manager Christy Peters says that every two seconds someone in the United States needs blood but unfortunately over the last four years new Red Cross donors have declined by 80,000.

“For example, three-quarters of the public underestimate how frequently a blood transfusion occurs. In our research, we discovered people think it’s needed every 15 minutes, maybe, every hour or two hours but its needed every two seconds. So people don’t understand the need.”

Last month the Red Cross launched the new “Missing Types” campaign to recruit new blood donors. That movement aimed to encourage new and previous donors to give blood.

Peters says that hospitals have seen an enormous impact on the shortage of three most common blood types, A, B, and O.

“In addition, more than one-third of the public has never considered that blood may not be available when they need it or a loved one needs it, however, at the American Red Cross we face shortages on a regular basis.”

The Red Cross runs roughly 25 blood drives within the Northern Ohio Region but more than 550 fewer blood drives were organized by businesses and other community groups across the country this summer.

Interested donors can visit RedCrossBlood.org to find a local drive or call 1-800-Red-Cross.

Copyright WTUZ Radio Inc., 2018