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Red Cross Blood Shortfall At “Emergency Level”

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blood cells 1755254 Red Cross Blood Shortfall At Emergency Level

A lab assistant holds a unit of blood. (credit: Erik S. Lesser/Getty Images)

NORTH TEXAS (CBSDFW.COM) – A dramatic drop in blood donations has left the American Red Cross in an “emergency” situation.

Red Cross officials say the month of June has yielded 50,000 fewer donations than expected. Now the organization is calling for all eligible donors to donate blood as soon as possible.

While workers say all blood types are needed, there is a particularly pressing need for O positive, O negative, B negative and A negative blood.

“In Dallas, the Red Cross is hoping for 200 additional units of blood between today and Saturday, July 7th to help relieve the current shortage,” American Red Cross Southwest Blood Services Region CEO Steve Nagle said in a press release statement. “Each pint of whole blood can help save more than one life.”

Officials aren’t exactly sure why donations have decreased, but believe an early start to spring may be a contributing factor. The warm weather may have donors out, participating in summer activities and not taking time to give blood.

The spokeswoman for the Dallas Chapter of the American Red Cross, Anita Foster, said this shortage is unlike ones experienced in the past.

“It’s very frightening when we have a nationwide shortage. When we see regional shortages what would typically happen is that you tap into another region. But, when you look across America right now the shelves all look the same — they’re empty,” she said.

While donated blood is routinely used for scheduled surgeries and medical procedures Foster reminded that the pints of blood and platelets are also a day-to-day need.

“It’s for the mom with the premature baby, the cancer patient and the accident victim… those unexpected things happen every single day.”

Hoping to accommodate as many as possible the Red Cross has extended hours at their main location.

Through July 7, the Red Cross Center at 1 Medical Parkway, Farmers Branch, Texas 75234 will be open Monday through Thursday from 10 a.m. until 7 p.m., Friday and Saturday from 7 a.m. until 5 p.m. The center will even be open on July 4th, operating from 7 a.m. until 2 p.m.

Anyone wanting to donate can also find about local blood drives in their area by logging on to redcrossblood.org.

Red Cross officials say the need for blood is constant with someone in the United States needing a transfusion every two seconds.

PLAY: Anita Foster talks with 1080 KRLD


Call 1-800-RED CROSS (1-800-733-2767) or visit redcrossblood.org to make an appointment or for more information.

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