Red Cross out for blood donations amid historically low inventory shortage

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SYRACUSE — The American Red Cross is experiencing an emergency blood and platelet shortage and must collect 10,000 additional blood products each week over the next month for the blood supply to recover and meet hospital and patient needs.

Donors of all blood types – especially type O – and platelet donors are urged tomake an appointment to give to help overcome this current shortage, according to a Red Cross announcement.

Blood donor turnout has reached the lowest levels of the year as many delayed giving amid a return to the workplace and in-person learning, as well as a recent surge in COVID-19 cases across the country due to the Delta variant.

As cases spiked in August, blood donor participation decreased about 10%, but blood product distributions to hospitals have remained strong, significantly outpacing blood donations in recent weeks.

Historically low inventory

The national Red Cross blood inventory is the lowest it’s been at this time of year since 2015, with less than a day’s supply of certain blood types in recent weeks. The supply of types Opositive and O negative blood, the most needed blood types by hospitals, dropped to less than a half-day supply at times over the last month−well below the ideal five-day supply.

“Fall is typically a time when the blood supply rebounds as donors are more available to give than during the busy summer months, but this year has presented a unique and seriouschallenge,” said Dr. Pampee Young, chief medical officer for the Red Cross. “While it’s clear the pandemic continues to weigh heavily on our minds, the Red Cross asks the public to remember donating blood and platelets is essential to the many patients that rely on lifesaving transfusions every day.”

How to schedule donation

Individuals can make an appointment to give blood or platelets by using the Red Cross Blood Donor App, available on the App Store or Google Play; online at RedCrossBlood.org or by calling 1-800-RED CROSS (1-800-733- 2767).

As a thank-you, all those who come to donate through Sept. 30 and help tackle the emergency blood shortage will receive a limited-edition football-inspired T-shirt while supplies last, plus a coupon for a free haircut via email from Sport Clips Haircuts.

All those who come to donate in October will receive a link by email to claim a freeZaxby’s®Signature Sandwich reward or get a $5 e-gift card to a merchant of their choice.

To donate blood, individuals need to bring a blood donor card or driver’s license or two otherforms of identification that are required at check-in. Individuals who are 17 years of age in most states (16 with parental consent where allowed by state law), weigh at least 110 pounds and are in generally good health may be eligible to donate blood.

High school students and other donors 18 years of age and younger also must meet certain height and weight requirements.

Upcoming blood drives

Canastota — Thursday, Sept. 30, 1-6 p.m., Canastota Veterans of Foreign Wars, 3835 Canal Road;

Hamilton — Wednesday, Oct. 6, 11:30 a.m.-5:30 p.m., First Baptist Church, 27 Broad St.;

Morrisville — Thursday, Sept. 30, 1-6 p.m., Morrisville Community Church, 3824 Swamp Road;

Oneida — Friday, Oct. 8, 1 - 6 p.m., St Paul’s United Methodist Church, 551 Sayles St.; Wednesday, Oct. 13, 1-6 p.m., Oneida Public Library, 459 Main St.;

Peterboro — Thursday, Oct. 14, 11:30 a.m.-4 p.m., Smithfield Community Center, 5255 Pleasant Valley Road;

Barneveld — Tuesday, Oct. 12, 1-5:30 p.m., Centerpoint Church, 8021 Route 12;

Boonville — Friday, Oct. 15, 1-6 p.m., Harland J Hennessey Veterans of Foreign Wars, 108 Park Ave.;

Camden — Tuesday, Oct. 5, 1-6 p.m., St John’s the Evangelist Church, 35 Third St.;

Clinton — Wednesday, Oct. 13, 1-6 p.m., Clinton United Methodist Church, 105 Utica Road;

Prospect — Thursday, Oct. 7, 9 a.m.-2 p.m., Bethel Baptist Church, 215 Church St.;

Rome — Saturday, Oct. 2, 8 a.m.-noon, Rome VFW Post 2246, 315 N Washington St.; Friday, Oct. 8, 10 a.m.-3 p.m., St John’s Lutheran Church, 502 W. Chestnut St.;

Stittville — Thursday, Oct. 7, 10 a.m.-2 p.m., Redeeming Love Church, 9011 Route 365;

Utica — Wednesday, Sept. 29, 10 a.m.-3:30 p.m., Mohawk Valley Community College, 1101 Sherman Dr.; Tuesday, Oct. 5, 11:30 a.m. - 4:30 p.m., Faxton St Luke’s Health Care, 1656 Champlin Ave.;

Whitesboro — Friday, Oct. 8, noon-5 p.m., Dunham Public Library, 76 Main St.

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