The American Red Cross declared a critical blood shortage on Wednesday and issued an “emergency call” for blood and platelet donations to help save lives.
“Blood donations have fallen short of expectations for the past two months, resulting in about 61,000 fewer donations than needed and causing a significant draw down of the Red Cross blood supply. The shortfall is the equivalent of the Red Cross not collecting any blood donations for more than four days,” the Red Cross said in a press release.
Local organizations like St. Francis Hospital took to Twitter asking people to donate if they can.
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The American Red Cross has a permanent blood donation center in Columbus at 7490 Veterans Parkway.
The Red Cross says the summer months are the most challenging time to secure enough donations to meet the enormous need. Schools are not in session and blood drives are less frequent. Nearly 650 fewer blood drives are held the week of July 4 than during an average week, according to Red Cross statistics.
“It’s crucial that people donate now to meet the needs of patients every day and to be prepared for emergencies that require significant volumes of donated blood,” said Nick Gehrig, communications director of Red Cross Blood Services. “Every day, blood and platelet donors can help save lives, and right now these heroes are needed to give as soon as possible.”