Red Cross issues emergency call for blood donations after severe shortage

COLUMBUS (WCMH) — The American Red Cross has issued an emergency call for blood and platelet donors to make a donation after a severe winter blood shortage.

The Red Cross says holiday schedules for many donors caused a shortage of about 37,000 fewer donations in November and December than what was needed.

Nearly 100 blood drives were forced to cancel in December, resulting in more than 3,100 blood donations going uncollected, according to the Red Cross.

NBC4 and WNCI are partnering up with the American Red Cross and Lifetime Fitness to host a blood drive today, Thursday, from 8am to 8pm.

NBC4's Matt Barnes stopped by to donate blood Thursday.
NBC4’s Matt Barnes stopped by to donate blood Thursday.

“Blood and platelet donations are critically needed in the coming days so that patients can continue to receive the lifesaving treatments they are counting on,” said Rodney Wilson, communications manager for Red Cross Central Ohio Blood Services Region. “We encourage donors to invite a family member or friend to donate with them to help meet patient needs. Right now, blood and platelet donations are being distributed to hospitals faster than they are coming in.”

Find a blood donation opportunity and schedule an appointment to donate by using the free Blood Donor App, visiting redcrossblood.org or calling 1-800-RED CROSS (1-800-733-2767). The Red Cross is extending hours at many donation sites for more donors to give blood or platelets. Overall, the Red Cross has added nearly 200 hours to blood donation centers and community blood drives across the country over the next few weeks.

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