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Red Cross Making "Emergency Call" For Blood Donors

NORTH TEXAS (CBSDFW.COM) - A dramatic drop in donations has resulted in the American Red Cross issuing an "emergency call" for blood donors.

Officials with the organization say there were some 61,000 fewer donations during the last two months, causing a significant draw down of the blood supply.

The Red Cross is calling the blood shortage "critical" and is asking eligible blood donors of all blood types to give now. In a press releases statement Red Cross communications manager Jan Hale said, "It's crucial that people donate now to meet the needs of patients every day and to be prepared for emergencies that require significant volumes of donated blood."

Red Cross donor 1
Brittany Scalise donating platelets with the American Red Cross. Red Cross employee Jo Hollis assisting with DVD player for the 2-hour process. (credit: John Silva/American Red Cross)

The slow down in blood donations is something that happens regularly. According to the Red Cross, the shortages often get worse around the July 4th holiday since there are fewer volunteer-hosted blood drives at workplaces and churches.

While the shortages are routine the need for blood is constant. Here in the United States blood is needed every two seconds to respond to patient emergencies, hospital procedures and surgeries, and for patients receiving treatment for leukemia, cancer or sickle cell disease.

Red Cross blood delivery
Red Cross driver John McHough prepares to deliver blood to area hospitals. (credit: Mike Murdock/American Red Cross)

Anyone wanting to schedule an appointment to donate can do so through the American Red Cross Blood Donor App, by visiting the American Red Cross website or by calling 800-RED CROSS (1-800-733-2767). Scheduling an appointment and completing an online RapidPass questionnaire can reduce the time it takes to donate.

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