Red Cross calls for donations amid blood shortage

Red Cross calls for donations amid blood shortage

A critical blood shortage across the U.S.is prompting American Red Cross officials to sound the alarm.

Here's the significance: every two seconds in the US, blood and platelets are desperately needed to respond to accident and burn victim emergencies, heart surgeries and organ transplant procedures, as well as patients receiving cancer treatments.

Some 61,000 fewer donations were given during the last two months, causing a significant draw down of the Red Cross blood supply nationally.

"Not all superheroes wear a cape, so you can be someone's hero today", said Alana Mauger, external communications manager for the Penn-Jersey Blood Services Region of the American Red Cross.

"Blood can't be manufactured", said Mauger.

Brittany Scalise donating platelets with the American Red Cross. The Red Cross must collect almost 14,000 blood donations every day for patients at approximately 2,600 hospitals across the country.

"We encourage people before they come out to give, to eat a good meal, [and] drink lots of water", said Mauger.

Blood shortages often worsen around Independence Day due to fewer volunteer-hosted blood drives at places of work, worship or community gathering, and this year is no exception. "And I've probably given about 20 gallons of blood over time". Scheduling an appointment and completing an online RapidPass questionnaire can reduce the time it takes to donate.

The next Wyandotte County blood drive sponsored by the Red Cross is from noon to 4 p.m. Thursday, July 6, at the AT&T Mobility store, 10620 Parallel Parkway, Kansas City, Kansas.

Anyone wanting to schedule an appointment to donate can do so through the American Red Cross Blood Donor App, by visiting the American Red Cross website or by calling 800-RED CROSS (1-800-733-2767).

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