Red Cross: Emergency blood shortage may delay medical procedures

Press Staff Writer

        The American Red Cross is experiencing an emergency blood shortage as the nation faces the lowest number of people giving blood in 20 years. The Red Cross blood supply has fallen to critically low levels across the country, and blood and platelet donors are urged to make a donation appointment to help alleviate the shortage and help ensure lifesaving medical procedures are not put on hold.
        Over the last 20 years, the number of people donating blood to the Red Cross has fallen by about 40%. When fewer people donate blood, even small disruptions to blood donations – such as the nearly 7,000-unit shortfall in blood donations the Red Cross experienced between Christmas and New Year’s Day alone – can have a huge impact on the availability of blood products and dramatic consequences for those in need of emergency blood transfusion. Blood products are currently going to hospitals faster than blood donations are coming in, and in recent weeks, the Red Cross has had to limit distributions of type O blood products – among the most transfused blood types – to hospitals.
        “Small changes in blood donor turnout can have a huge impact on the availability of blood products and dramatic consequences for those in need of an emergency blood transfusion,” said Dr. Eric Gehrie, executive physician director for the Red Cross. “More challenges may lie ahead as the potential for severe winter weather and seasonal illness may compound the dire blood supply situation. Donors of all types – especially those with type O blood and those giving platelets – are urged to give.”
        To make an appointment, download the Red Cross Blood Donor App, visit or call 1-800-RED CROSS (1-800-733-2767).
        During January, National Blood Donor Month, the Red Cross and the National Football League (NFL) are partnering to urge individuals to give blood or platelets and help tackle the emergency blood shortage. Those who come to give blood, platelets or plasma in January will automatically be entered for a chance to win a trip for two to Super Bowl LVIII in Las Vegas. For details, visit Bowl.
        January blood donation opportunities include:
        • American Red Cross Toledo Blood Donation Center, 3510 Executive Parkway: Sundays, Mondays, Wednesdays, Fridays and Saturdays, 7 a.m.-3 p.m. and Tuesdays and Thursdays, 10:30 a.m.-6:30 p.m.
        • Oregon: Jan. 16, 12-6 p.m., Hope Community Church, 5650 Starr Ave.; Jan. 17, 12-5 p.m., St. Ignatius Catholic Church, 212 Stadium Rd.
        • Curtice: Jan. 18, 12-5 p.m., Jerusalem Township Fire Department, 9501 Jerusalem Rd.
        • Oak Harbor: Jan. 19, 12-5 p.m., St. John’s Lutheran Church, 122 W. Ottawa St.
        • Fremont: Jan. 30: 9:30 a.m.-2:30 p.m., Terra State Community College, 2830 Napoleon Rd. and 10 a.m.-4 p.m., Fremont Memorial Hospital, 715 Taft Ave.
        • Lindsey: Jan. 15, 12-6 p.m., Ole Zim’s Wagon Shed, 1375 S. SR 590.
        • Pemberville: Jan. 27, 9 a.m.-2 p.m., Bethlehem Lutheran Church, 220 Cedar St.
        • Perrysburg: Jan. 19, 10 a.m.-4 p.m., Zoar Lutheran Church, 314 East Indiana Ave.
        • Woodville: Jan. 22, 12-6 p.m., Rouen Chrysler Dodge Jeep Ram, 1091 Fremont Pike.
        About the American Red Cross
        The American Red Cross shelters, feeds and provides comfort to victims of disasters; supplies about 40% of the nation’s blood; teaches skills that save lives; distributes international humanitarian aid and supports veterans, military members and their families.
        As a nonprofit, Red Cross depends on volunteers and the generosity of the American public to deliver its mission. For more information, visit or, or follow us on social media.


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