Emergency call for blood donations

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The American Red Cross has issued an emergency call for blood and platelets, urging all eligible donors to give now to replenish an extremely low summer blood supply.

Blood donations have fallen short of hospital needs for the past few months, resulting in about 39,000 fewer donations than what’s needed, as well as a significant drawdown of the overall Red Cross blood supply. In addition, the Independence Day holiday may have caused many regular donors to postpone donations due to vacation plans. A recent Red Cross poll revealed that more than 75 percent of donors surveyed indicated vacation plans this summer, many of them occurring the weeks before and after July 4.

“Right now, blood products are being distributed to hospitals faster than donations are coming in, which is why we are making this emergency request for donations,” said Mario Sedlock, director of donor recruitment, Southern Blood Services Region. “Donations are urgently needed now to meet the needs of hospital patients in the coming days and weeks. If you’ve thought about giving blood and helping to save lives, now is the time to do it. It’s the blood donations on the shelves that help save lives when an emergency occurs.”

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). The Red Cross is extending hours at many donation sites to allow for more donors to make an appointment to give. Donation appointments and completion of a RapidPass online health history questionnaire are encouraged to avoid longer wait times. Donors with all blood types are needed.

Those unable to give can still help by encouraging others to give through a SleevesUp virtual blood drive at redcrossblood.org/sleevesup, giving of their time through volunteerism or making a financial donation to support Red Cross humanitarian work across the country and around the world.

Upcoming blood donation opportunities:

July 7, noon-5 p.m., Asa M. Powell Expo Center, 197 Temple Ave., Newnan

July 8, 10 a.m.-3 p.m., Piedmont Newnan Hospital, 745 Poplar Road, Newnan

July 11, 3-7 p.m., Fayette County Public Library, 1821 Heritage Parkway, Fayetteville

July 12, 2-7 p.m., St. Gabriel’s Catholic Church, 152 Antioch Road, Fayetteville

July 18, 1:30-6:30 p.m., Fayetteville Christian Church, 114 Hickory Road, Fayetteville

July 24, 8 a.m.-1 p.m., First United Methodist Church, 179 East Lanier Ave., Fayetteville