Red Cross in urgent need for blood, platelet donations
Anyone over the age of 17 in good health can donate.
ATLANTA, Ga. (Atlanta News First) - The American Red Cross needs Americans to roll up their sleeves after declaring a national blood shortage. The nonprofit organization says blood supplies are critically low.
The regional communications director for the American Red Cross of Georgia says demand for blood at hospitals and medical centers is far outpacing current donations. In fact, supply levels have fallen nearly 25 percent since early August.
“Every two seconds someone in the U.S. needs blood and you can do something that just feels good. You’re giving back to others, and you never know if it’s going to be yourself, a family member, or a neighbor who needs that lifesaving donation,” said Katie Baratone Zwerk of the Red Cross Georgia.
Blood shortages especially impact people injured in car accidents, cancer patients, those with sickle cell disease, and new moms and their babies.
Anyone over the age of 17 and in good health can donate. The donation process generally takes less than 10 minutes.
“60 percent of the population is eligible to donate blood, but only about three percent actually give,” said Baratone Zwerk.
There are several donation centers throughout metro Atlanta. You can find a list here. Donors of all blood types are urgently needed, but the Red Cross says there is an emergency need for platelet donors and type O blood donors.
The organization blames a record catastrophic year for weather and climate disasters across the country, including Hurricane Idalia’s impact in the southeast.
“We’ve had an active hurricane season. Hurricane Idalia slammed into the southeast. We had to cancel a dozen blood drives because of it,” said Baratone Zwerk.
To meet the need the Red Cross, which supplies about 40 percent of the nation’s blood and components, needs 12,500 donations each day.
To make an appointment to give blood or platelets, donors can use the Red Cross blood app, visit RedCrossBlood.org, or call 1-800-RED CROSS.
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