Emergency Call For Blood Issued By The American Red Cross As Blood Donations Are Extremely Low In Number

First Posted: Jan 11, 2017 03:40 AM EST

In lieu of the significant decline in the number of blood donation camps, the American Red Cross (ARC) issued a call for blood campaign. The campaign encourages blood donors to volunteer for blood donation and help save the lives of patients who need blood to survive.

ARC spokesperson in Connecticut Aly Bazarra said that November and December 2016 recorded a decline in blood donations by 37,000 from the expected number. Winter is the toughest time of the year, as blood donations are scarce due to the bad weather conditions, blocked roads and extremely low temperature. In December alone, about 90 blood donation drives were forcefully cancelled due to this, WKBN 27 reported.

Christina Gargas from the American Red Cross said, "It's a critical concern, and that is why we are reaching out to everyone - first time donors and regular donors if they can make it to a blood drive because you know patients don't get a holiday break from illness."

To rebuild its blood supply, the American Red Cross has extended its hours of operation in many blood donation sites. The process of obtaining donation appointments and completing the RapidPass health history questionnaire online is simplified to boost the number of blood donations, Shelton Herald reported.

"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," Bazarra said.

The free Blood Donor App can be used to schedule an appointment to donate blood. Appointments can also be made by directly visiting the website or by calling 1-800- RED CROSS (1-800- 733-2767).

"The Red Cross welcomes donors of all types of blood to help give the gift of life during this time of emergency need. Hospital patients need access to many different types of blood," Bazarra added. "We especially encourage our O-negative donors to give when possible. O-negative is the universal blood type and can be administered to patients when time is of the essence (like in trauma situations) and there may not by time to right type or match a patient's blood type."

The American Red Cross officials are optimistic that the call for blood campaign will help encourage more number of regular and new blood donors to visit blood donation drives.

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