NORTH TEXAS (CBSDFW.COM) – The nationwide blood shortage that became critical at the start of the pandemic continues to get worse, but there are new ways that North Texans can help.

In Irving, the American Red Cross North Texas region is opening blood and platelet donation centers for folks to conveniently donate blood.

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Instead of people trying to find a blood drive near them, they can now schedule an appointment to donate at one of the sites.

The country is currently facing a severe blood shortage. Those in need include patients with chronic illnesses — like sickle cell and cancer — and people who are injured or undergoing surgery.

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The Red Cross recently partnered with 100 Black Men, the NAACP and other groups to grow the number of black blood donors to help patients with sickle cell disease and improve health outcomes.

The new donation centers grant donors the accessibly to give blood and platelets on a more frequent basis.

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To schedule an appointment visit redcrossblood.org.

Kennedi Walker