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Eligible blood donors of all types are urgently needed

Thousands of people have responded to the emergency call for blood and platelet donations issued by the American Red Cross in early July, but there continues to be a critical summer blood shortage. 

The Red Cross has experienced a 30 percent increase in blood donation appointments through mid-July, according to a news release. However, blood products are still being distributed to hospitals as fast as donations are coming in, so more donations are needed to meet patient needs and replenish the blood supply.

“The blood supply is like a cell phone battery, it constantly needs recharging,” said Sue Thesenga, communications manager of the North Central Blood Services Region. “We sincerely appreciate those who have responded to the call to help save lives and encourage those who haven’t to consider rolling up a sleeve and give the gift of life. It only takes about an hour but can mean a lifetime for patients.”

Nearly 61,000 fewer blood donations than needed were given through the Red Cross in May and June, prompting the emergency call for donations in early July. The shortfall was the equivalent of the Red Cross not receiving any blood donations for more than four days.

How to help

To schedule an appointment to donate, use the Blood Donor App, visit redcrossblood.org or call 800-RED CROSS (800-733-2767). Donation appointments and completion of a RapidPass online health history questionnaire are encouraged to help reduce the time it takes to donate.

As a special thank you, those who come out to give blood or platelets with the Red Cross July 26 through Aug. 31 will be emailed a $5 Target eGiftCard, the Red Cross says. Additional information and details are available at redcrossblood.org/summer.

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