Severe blood shortage: Donors needed now to address delays in patient care

INDIANAPOLIS (June 15, 2021) — The American Red Cross is experiencing a severe blood shortage as the number of trauma cases, organ transplants and elective surgeries rise – and deplete the nation’s blood inventory. Donors of all blood types – especially type O – are urged to make an appointment to give as soon as possible to prevent further impact to patients.

 

Right now, hospitals are responding to an atypically high number of traumas and emergency room visits, as well as overdoses and resulting transplants. In comparison to 2019, the Red Cross has seen demand from trauma centers climb by 10% in 2021− more than five times the growth of other facilities that provide blood transfusions.

 

“When seconds count in emergency trauma situations, it’s the blood already on the shelves that can make the difference in lifesaving care,” said Julie Brady, Regional Donor Services Executive, of the Indiana Region of the American Red Cross. “As many people begin to enjoy travel and time with loved ones again this summer, patients are relying on the generosity of donors to help ensure they have access to the treatment they need. Please consider blood donation as a summer activity that can help save lives.”

 

Patients need the help of the American people. Schedule an appointment to give blood now by using the Red Cross Blood Donor App, visiting RedCrossBlood.org, calling 1-800-RED CROSS (1-800-733-2767) or enabling the Blood Donor Skill on any Alexa Echo device.

 

In addition to trauma needs, there is a great hospital demand for blood as people who deferred care during the height of the pandemic present with more advanced disease progression, requiring increased blood transfusions. Over the last three months, the Red Cross has distributed about 75,000 more blood products than expected to meet these needs. As a result of this shortage, some hospitals are being forced to slow the pace of elective surgeries until the blood supply stabilizes. Blood is perishable and cannot be stockpiled, so it must constantly be replenished by generous blood donors.

 

Donors are urged to make an appointment to give blood now. As a thank-you, those who come to give now through June 30 will receive a $5 Amazon.com Gift Card via email, courtesy of Amazon. (Restrictions apply. Additional information and details are available at RedCrossBlood.org/Together.)

 

In most cases, those who have received a COVID-19 vaccine can donate. However, knowing the name of the manufacturer of the vaccine they received is important in determining donation eligibility.

 

Final weeks for COVID-19 antibody testing

As more than a third of Americans have become fully vaccinated against COVID-19, the Red Cross is winding down COVID-19 antibody testing for blood, platelet and plasma donations.

 

Through June 25, the Red Cross is testing all donations for COVID-19 antibodies. Testing may show possible exposure to the virus or whether a donor has developed an immune response to vaccination. The conclusion of Red Cross antibody testing represents a new, hopeful phase as the nation continues to journey out of this pandemic.

 

World Sickle Cell Day: June 19

June 19 is World Sickle Cell Day, an important day for the more than 100,000 individuals with sickle cell disease in the U.S. Most people with this disease are of African descent and will require regular blood transfusions to help manage their disease. Some individuals with sickle cell disease may require as many as 100 units of blood per year.

 

The Red Cross is screening all blood, platelet and plasma donations from self-identified African American donors for the sickle cell trait. This additional screening will provide Black donors with an additional health insight and help the Red Cross identify compatible blood types more quickly to help patients with sickle cell disease. Since the best blood match for a patient receiving ongoing transfusions comes from donors of the same genetic background, the Red Cross encourages people of all ethnicities to give blood and help increase the number of diverse donors so we can find the best match for all patients.

 

Donors can expect to receive antibody test and sickle cell trait screening results, if applicable, within one to two weeks through the Red Cross Blood Donor App and the online donor portal at RedCrossBlood.org.

 

Upcoming blood donation opportunities June 15-30

 

IN

Delaware

 

Muncie

6/15/2021: 1 p.m. – 6 p.m., Ross Medical Education Center, 411 W. Riggin Rd.

6/30/2021: 10 a.m. – 3 p.m., Delaware County Fairgrounds, 1210 N. Wheeling Ave.

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Hamilton

 

Carmel

6/17/2021: 2 p.m. – 7 p.m., Harvest Church, 14550 River Road

 

Fishers

6/16/2021: 2 p.m. – 7 p.m., Hawthorns Golf and Country Club, 12255 Club Pointe Drive

6/27/2021: 12 p.m. – 5 p.m., Fishers YMCA, 9012 East 126th Street

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Hancock

 

Greenfield

6/29/2021: 2 p.m. – 7 p.m., Hancock County Fairgrounds, 620 Apple St.

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Hendricks

 

Brownsburg

6/15/2021: 2 p.m. – 7 p.m., Arbuckle Acres-Bundy Lodge, 7024 Lucas Drive

 

Plainfield

6/23/2021: 2 p.m. – 7 p.m., Plainfield Christian Church, 800 N. Dan Jones Road

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Madison

 

Anderson

6/25/2021: 12 p.m. – 6 p.m., Madison Park Church of God, 6607 Providence Drive

6/29/2021: 9 a.m. – 3 p.m., Anderson University, 1526 University Blvd.

 

Pendleton

6/21/2021: 1:30 p.m. – 6:30 p.m., First United Methodist Church Pendleton, 225 West State Street

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Marion

 

Indianapolis

6/16/2021: 10 a.m. – 3 p.m., American Red Cross, 1510 North Meridian

6/20/2021: 9 a.m. – 2 p.m., Saint Simon the Apostle Catholic Church, 8155 Oaklandon Road

6/22/2021: 10 a.m. – 5 p.m., Delta Air Lines, 7800 Col. H. Weir Cook Memorial Drive

6/23/2021: 10 a.m. – 3 p.m., American Red Cross, 1510 North Meridian

6/24/2021: 11 a.m. – 4 p.m., Duke Realty, 8711 River Crossing Blvd.

6/24/2021: 2 p.m. – 7 p.m., North Willow Farms, 1635 Brewster Road

6/28/2021: 3 p.m. – 7 p.m., Marion County Fairgrounds, 7300 Troy Avenue

6/30/2021: 10 a.m. – 3 p.m., American Red Cross, 1510 North Meridian

6/30/2021: 10 a.m. – 4 p.m., IU Health Methodist Hospital, 1701 Senate Blvd.

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Wayne

 

Richmond

6/17/2021: 9 a.m. – 2 p.m., Richmond Senior Community Center, 1600 S. 2nd Street

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Bartholomew

 

Columbus

6/18/2021: 10 a.m. – 4 p.m., The Commons, 300 Washington Street

6/22/2021: 10 a.m. – 3 p.m., The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, 4850 W. Goeller Road

_______________

Brown

 

Nashville

6/16/2021: 12 p.m. – 5 p.m., Brown County YMCA, 105 Willow Street

6/23/2021: 2 p.m. – 7 p.m., Parkview Church of the Nazarene, 1750 East State Road 46

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Jennings

 

North Vernon

6/15/2021: 12 p.m. – 5 p.m., Senior Citizens Center, 515 Buckeye Street

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Johnson

 

Greenwood

6/15/2021: 9:30 a.m. – 2:30 p.m., Johnson County Library White River Branch, 1664 Library Blvd.

6/24/2021: 1 p.m. – 6 p.m., Community Church of Greenwood, 1477 W Main Street

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Lawrence

 

Bedford

6/17/2021: 1:30 p.m. – 7 p.m., Knights of Columbus, 2202 M Street

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Monroe

 

Bloomington

6/16/2021: 10 a.m. – 4 p.m., Bloomington Community RSMO, 401 North Morton Street

6/22/2021: 1 p.m. – 6 p.m., Sherwood Oaks Christian Church, 2700 E. Rogers Road

6/23/2021: 10 a.m. – 4 p.m., Bloomington Community RSMO, 401 North Morton Street

6/28/2021: 10 a.m. – 3 p.m., Monroe Convention Center, 302 S College Ave

6/29/2021: 2 p.m. – 7 p.m., Monroe Convention Center, 302 S College Ave

6/30/2021: 10 a.m. – 4 p.m., Bloomington Community RSMO, 401 North Morton Street

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Vigo

 

Terre Haute

6/25/2021: 12 p.m. – 6 p.m., Midwest Communications, Inc, 3401 S US HWY 41

 

Blood drive safety

The Red Cross has updated its pandemic safety protocols in alignment with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and Occupational Safety and Health Administration. Fully vaccinated individuals, including staff and donors, no longer need to wear masks or socially distance. Unvaccinated individuals continue to be required to wear masks and socially distance. Donors are asked to schedule an appointment prior to arriving at the drive.

 

Don’t wait to give

Donors can also save up to 15 minutes at the blood drive by completing a RapidPass®. With RapidPass®, donors complete the pre-donation reading and health history questionnaire online, on the day of donation, from a mobile device or computer. To complete a RapidPass®, follow the instructions at RedCrossBlood.org/RapidPass or use the Red Cross Blood Donor App.

To donate blood, individuals need to bring a blood donor card or driver’s license or two other forms 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.

 

About the American Red Cross

The American Red Cross shelters, feeds and provides emotional support to victims of disasters; supplies about 40% of the nation’s blood; teaches skills that save lives; provides international humanitarian aid; and supports military members and their families. The Red Cross is a not-for-profit organization that depends on volunteers and the generosity of the American public to perform its mission. For more information, please visit redcross.org or cruzrojaamericana.org, or visit us on Twitter at @RedCross.

 

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