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Critical blood shortage prompts emergency call for donations

Special to The Dallas Examiner | 7/30/2017, 11:55 p.m.
Every two seconds in the United States, blood is needed to respond to patient emergencies, including accident and burn victims, ...

Special to The Dallas Examiner

Every two seconds in the United States, blood is needed to respond to patient emergencies, including accident and burn victims, heart surgery and organ transplant procedures, and patients receiving treatment for leukemia, cancer or sickle cell disease. The American Red Cross must collect nearly 14,000 blood donations every day for patients at approximately 2,600 hospitals across the country.

Blood shortages often worsen around Independence Day due to many fewer volunteer-hosted blood drives at places of work, worship or community gathering, and this year is no exception. Nearly 700 fewer blood drives were scheduled during the Independence Day week than the weeks before and after the holiday.

Overall, the summer months are among the most challenging times of the year for donations as regular donors delay giving while they vacation and participate in summer activities. In a recent survey of Red Cross blood donors, more than 73 percent indicated vacation plans this summer, many of them occurring during the summer.

Currently, the Red Cross is facing a critical blood shortage and is issuing an emergency call for eligible blood donors of all blood types to give now and 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.

“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 Jan Hale, communications manager of the Southwest Blood Services Region “Every day, blood donors can help save lives, and right now these heroes are needed to give as soon as possible.”

Donation appointments and completion of a RapidPass online health history questionnaire are encouraged to help reduce the time it takes to donate.

New donors and those who haven’t given in a while are especially encouraged to roll up a sleeve and help save lives. Nearly one-third fewer new blood donors came out to give last summer than during the rest of the year due in part to schools – where blood drives are held and where new donors give – being out of session during the summer months.

To schedule an appointment to donate, use the free Blood Donor App, call 1-800-RED CROSS (1-800-733-2767) or visit http://www.redcrossblood.org. The website also offers information on hosting a blood drive.

Upcoming blood donation opportunities July 31-Aug. 15:


DALLAS COUNTY

Addison

8/10/2017: 9 a.m. - 3 p.m., Assurant Solutions, 4550 Excel

Dallas

7/25/2017: 7 a.m. - 12 p.m., Baylor University Medical Center, 3500 Gaston, Roberts Building 17th floor

7/25/2017: 12 p.m. - 5 p.m., Baylor University Medical Center, 3500 Gaston, Roberts Building 17th floor

7/27/2017: 8 a.m. - 2 p.m., Foundry Commercial, 8144 Walnut Hill Ln.

7/29/2017: 10 a.m. - 4 p.m., Lochwood Branch Library, 11221 Lochwood Blvd