The American Red Cross is calling for emergency donations of blood because of a shortage over the holiday season.
The Red Cross says they have collected more than 27,000 fewer blood and platelet donations necessary to maintain a sufficient supply over the weeks of Christmas and New Year’s. Over 1,350 fewer blood drives took place during that time than required to meet the needs of area patients.
“Many people may not realize that blood products are perishable, and the only source of lifesaving blood for patients is volunteer blood donors,” Cliff Numark, senior vice president, Red Cross Biomedical Services, stated in a press release. “When donations decline – as they did around the holidays and may further decline if severe winter weather and flu season pick up – lifesaving medical treatments could be delayed.”
The Red Cross tries to maintain a five-day supply of blood to respond to hospitals and emergencies. They currently have less than a three-day supply.
If you are able to help the Red Cross with a donation, call 1-800-733-2767.