Red Cross still facing critical blood shortage

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BRATTLEBORO >> Earlier this month, the American Red Cross issued an emergency request for blood and platelet donations. While thousands have responded, at times, donations continue to be delivered to hospitals faster than they are coming in and a critical blood shortage still exists. 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 Mary Brant, external communications manager of the Northern New England 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."

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.

All blood types urgently needed

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 Aug. 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 blood donation in Windham County include on July 28 from noon to 5 p.m. in Bellows Falls at 8 School St.; on Aug. 9 from 11:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. at the Fraternal Order of the Eagles, 54 Chickering Drive, in Brattleboro; and Aug. 9 at the NewBrook Fire Department in Newfane from 1 to 6 p.m.


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