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Red Cross issues emergency call for blood and platelet donations to address significant shortage

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 draw down 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 Tiffany Taylor, external communications manager of the Red Cross River Valley 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.”

How to Help To schedule an appointment to donate, use the free Blood Donor App, visit 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, giving of their time through volunteerism or making a financial donation to support Red Cross humanitarian work across the country and around the world.

Who Blood Donations Help

Every two seconds in the United States blood and platelets are 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 Red Cross must collect approximately 14,000 blood and platelet donations every day for patients at about 2,600 hospitals and transfusion centers nationwide.

Because of generous donors, the Red Cross is able to provide blood products to patients like

Seven-year-old Audrey Nethery, who needs regular blood transfusions as part of her treatment for Diamond Blackfan anemia, a rare condition where her body doesn’t make enough red blood cells..

“I am so appreciative of the individuals whose blood is within my daughter at this very moment,” said Scott Nethery, Audrey’s father. “Without blood, my little angel would not be with us today.”

Watch Audrey’s story to learn how blood donations can make a lifesaving difference.

Upcoming blood donation opportunities

Community of Christ, 503 Windsor Lane, Fairfield, IL 62837

7/6/2016: 11:30 a.m. – 5:30 p.m.

Knights of Columbus, 401 Felt King Road, Vincennes, IN 47591

7/6/2016: 2 p.m. – 7 p.m.

Glezen Revival Center, 245 S. Glezen Center St., Petersburg, IN 47567

7/13/2016: 3 p.m. – 7 p.m.

Edwards County 4-H Fair, 90 W. Pine St., Albion, IL 62806

7/27/2016: 2 p.m. – 7 p.m.

New Hope Christian Church, 10186 Bridgeport Road, Bridgeport, IL 62417

7/28/2016: 2 p.m. – 7 p.m.

Indiana Presbyterian Church, 2431 S. Lower Indiana Road, Vincennes, IN 47591

7/26/2016: 2 p.m. – 6 p.m.

Bedford Army National Guard, 2020 19th St., Bedford, IN 47421

7/16/2016: 9 a.m. – 2 p.m.

Lawrence County Fair, 11265 U.S. Highway 50 W., Bedford, IN 47421

7/22/2016: 3 p.m. – 8 p.m.

Hillcrest Christian Church, 1130 Hillcrest Road, Bedford, IN 47421

7/25/2016: 2 p.m. – 7 p.m.

Anytime Fitness, 2643 16th St., Bedford, IN 47421

7/27/2016: 1 p.m. – 5 p.m.

About the American Red Cross

The American Red Cross shelters, feeds and provides emotional support to victims of disasters; supplies about 40 percent of the nation’s blood; teaches skills that save lives; provides international humanitarian aid; and supports military members and their families. The Red Cross is a not-for-profit organization that depends on volunteers and the generosity of the American public to perform its mission. For more information, please visit or, or visit us on Twitter at @RedCross.