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American Red Cross reports emergency blood shortage

By Patrick Lynn

The American Red Cross has planned several blood drives through mid-October to help address its national shortage.

The agency is reporting an emergency blood shortage and says it needs to 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 to make an appointment to give now and in the weeks ahead to overcome the shortage.

“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 serious challenge,” 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.”

Blood donor turnout has reached the lowest levels of the year, according to the agency, 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 percent, but blood product distributions to hospitals have remained strong, significantly outpacing blood donations in recent weeks.

The national Red Cross says its 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 O positive 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.

To make an appointment to give blood or platelets, download the Red Cross Blood Donor App, go to RedCrossBlood.org, or call 1-800-RED CROSS (1-800-733-2767).

All those who donate through Sept. 30 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. Anyone who donates in October will receive a link by email to claim a free Zaxby’s Signature Sandwich reward or get a $5 e-gift card to a merchant of their choice.

Face masks are required by all staff and donors.

Upcoming blood drives by county:

Adams

Adams

10/18/2021: 12:30 p.m. – 5:30 p.m., Community Center, 569 N. Cedar Street

Langlade

Antigo

9/27/2021: 10 a.m. – 4 p.m., Saints Mary and Hyacinth Catholic Church, 819 3rd Avenue

Marathon

Mosinee

10/1/2021: 12:30 p.m. – 5 p.m., St John Lutheran Church, 901 Eleventh St

Wausau

9/30/2021: 1 p.m. – 6 p.m., Saint Andrew Lutheran Church, 3200 N Mountain Rd

Oneida

Rhinelander

10/20/2021: 11:30 a.m. – 5:30 p.m., Cabaret Cove, 1540 Pueblo Drive
10/21/2021: 8 a.m. – 2 p.m., Rhinelander High School, 665 Coolidge

Portage

Plover

10/11/2021: 11 a.m. – 6 p.m., Plover Municipal Building, 2400 Post Rd

Stevens Point

9/27/2021: 11:45 a.m. – 6:30 p.m., Stevens Point Blood Donation Center, 3201C Main St
9/28/2021: 11:45 a.m. – 6:30 p.m., Stevens Point Blood Donation Center, 3201C Main St
9/30/2021: 8:15 a.m. – 3 p.m., Stevens Point Blood Donation Center, 3201C Main St
10/1/2021: 8:15 a.m. – 3 p.m., Stevens Point Blood Donation Center, 3201C Main St
10/4/2021: 11:45 a.m. – 6:30 p.m., Stevens Point Blood Donation Center, 3201C Main St
10/5/2021: 11:45 a.m. – 6:30 p.m., Stevens Point Blood Donation Center, 3201C Main St
10/7/2021: 8:15 a.m. – 3 p.m., Stevens Point Blood Donation Center, 3201C Main St
10/8/2021: 8:15 a.m. – 3 p.m., Stevens Point Blood Donation Center, 3201C Main St
10/11/2021: 11:45 a.m. – 6:30 p.m., Stevens Point Blood Donation Center, 3201C Main St
10/12/2021: 11:45 a.m. – 6:30 p.m., Stevens Point Blood Donation Center, 3201C Main St
10/14/2021: 8:15 a.m. – 3 p.m., Stevens Point Blood Donation Center, 3201C Main St
10/14/2021: 12 p.m. – 5 p.m., St Paul’s United Methodist Church, 600 Wilshire
10/15/2021: 8:15 a.m. – 3 p.m., Stevens Point Blood Donation Center, 3201C Main St
10/18/2021: 11:45 a.m. – 6:30 p.m., Stevens Point Blood Donation Center, 3201C Main St
10/19/2021: 11:45 a.m. – 6:30 p.m., Stevens Point Blood Donation Center, 3201C Main St
10/21/2021: 8:15 a.m. – 3 p.m., Stevens Point Blood Donation Center, 3201C Main St
10/22/2021: 8:15 a.m. – 3 p.m., Stevens Point Blood Donation Center, 3201C Main St

Vilas

Eagle River

10/5/2021: 12:30 p.m. – 5 p.m., St Peters Church, 5001 County Road G
10/6/2021: 9 a.m. – 2 p.m., Northland Pines High School, 1800 Pleasure Island Rd

Wood

Marshfield

10/4/2021: 11 a.m. – 5 p.m., Holiday Inn, 750 S Central Ave

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