Critical blood shortage reported

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While thousands of people from across the country responded to the emergency request for blood and platelet donations issued by the American Red Cross in early July, a critical blood shortage remains. 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 Mario Sedlock, director of donor recruitment of the Southern Blood Services 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.

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 donation opportunities include:

Friday, July 29, 2-7 p.m., The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, 2021 Redwine Road, Fayetteville.

Monday, Aug. 1, 1-6 p.m., Senoia United Methodist Church, 229 Bridge St., Senoia.

Tuesday, Aug. 2, 9:30 a.m.-2:30 p.m., Glenloch Recreation Complex, 601 Stevens Entry, Peachtree City.

Thursday, Aug. 4, noon-5 p.m., Asa M. Powell Expo Center, 197 Temple Ave., Newnan.

Thursday, Aug. 4, 10 a.m.-4 p.m., Piedmont Fayette Hospital, 1279 W. Highway 54, Fayetteville.

Monday, Aug. 8, 3-7 p.m., Fayette County Public Library, 1821 Heritage Parkway, Fayetteville.

Wednesday, Aug. 10, 2-7 p.m., New Hope Baptist Church, 551 New Hope Road, Fayetteville.