A severe blood shortage is resulting in the American Red Cross urging donors to give blood now.
The Red Cross hopes donors give blood now, which will avoid delays for patients and will stop the shortage from getting worse this winter.
Joe Zydio, a spokesman for the Red Cross, said it is unprecedented for the Red Cross to come out with this type of message at this time of the year. Often, the Red Cross sees a shortage starting in mid-December, leading to emergency appeals Jan. 8, he said.
“This year, we’ve been impacted badly,” Zydio said. Hurricane Florence, in particular, resulted in a shortage of 9,000 to 10,000 donations in the Carolinas, he said.
“There are 21,000 fewer donations” now nationwide, he said. Hurricane Michael also was a factor in the shortage. In addition, there were fewer blood drives in September and October.
With the possibility of snow and busy holidays in the coming months, the Red Cross would like donors to give early.
All blood types are needed, especially type O, and platelet donors. Donors may make an appointment at RedCrossBlood.org, or call 1-800-RED-CROSS (1-800-733-2767). There also is a Red Cross Blood app that will tell donors the closest blood drive.
Two Wyandotte County blood drives are scheduled in the coming weeks, and donors also may donate blood at other mobile locations.
The two upcoming Wyandotte County blood drives include 2 p.m. to 6 p.m. Nov. 21 at Dave and Buster’s, 1843 Village West Parkway, Kansas City, Kansas; and 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Dec. 8 at Cabela’s, 10300 Cabela Drive, Kansas City, Kansas.
For other locations of blood drives in the area, visit www.redcrossblood.org.
As an incentive for donors, the Red Cross will give away a long-sleeved Red Cross T-shirt, while supplies last, to those who donate blood from Nov. 21 to Nov. 24.