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American Red Cross

Posted: Jul 11, 2019 2:07 PMUpdated: Jul 11, 2019 2:11 PM

American Red Cross Issues Urgent Call for Blood Donors

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Garrett Giles

The American Red Cross faces a blood shortage and has issued an emergency call for eligible individuals of all blood types to give now and prevent delays in medical care.

External Communications Manager Jan Hale said about 450 fewer blood drives were organized by businesses and other community groups during the Fourth of July week. She said blood transfusions are the fourth most common medical procedure done in hospitals today, yet only 3 out of every 100 people give blood.

This led to about 17,000 fewer blood donations than needed for patients in a single week. This has caused the Red Cross to have less than a three-day supply of most blood types available - and less than a two-day supply of type O blood - for patients. At least a five-day supply is desired.

Hale said your generous donation of blood is the only way the American Red Cross can provide blood to patients that need it. She said the reality is that not enough people are donating blood.

In June, the American Red Cross held a campaign called "Missing Types." The social media driven campaign saw national entities like Oreo, State Farm, Google and Facebook remove the "A's, B's and O's" out of their names.

Those letters represent the blood types that are needed and the American Red Cross had those entities remove those letters to help draw attention to what life would be like without the blood types. Hale said it looks awkward to see that "A's" in State Farm removed, but when you don't have "A's" on hospital shelves, that's where patient care can be affected.

Despite an encouraging response to the campaign, blood donations still fell short of expectation in June, resulting in more than 24,000 fewer donations than needed. There were more than 700 fewer in the Southwest Blood Services Region, causing a significant draw down of the Red Cross blood supply.

Platelets are also needed in this time where the American Red Cross is experiencing a shortage in supply.

Hale said platelets have a five day shelf life. She said cancer patients, burn victims and those that need to replenish their platelet count benefit from platelet donations.

To set up an appointment at the Red Cross in Tulsa, you can call 1.800-RED-CROSS. You may also set up an appointment at redcrossblood.org. The Blood Donor App is also available for you to use.

You can find local blood drives at redcrossblood.org as well. Local blood drives are listed below:

Nowata County:

12:30 to 6:30 p.m. at the Jane Phillips Nowata Health Center (237 S. Locust St) on Thursday, July 18th.

Osage County:

12:30 to 6:30 p.m. at the Skiatook First United Methodist Church (1007 S. Osage Street) on Thursday, July 25th.

Washington County:

Noon to 6:00 p.m. at the American Red Cross (601 S. Jennings) on Monday, July 15th.

7:00 a.m. to noon at the Jane Phillips Medical Center (3500 E. Frank Phillips Blvd) on Wednesday, July 24th.

Noon to 5:00 p.m. at the Jane Phillips Medical Center (3500 E. Frank Phillips Blvd) on Wednesday, July 24th.


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