Red Cross experiences nationwide blood shortage, urges people to donate

The American Red Cross is currently facing an emergency blood shortage across the nation. 

Blood donations are being given to hospitals faster than they are coming in, said Christine Welch, Communications Manager for the Red Cross. Currently, there is less than a five-day blood supply on hand, she says.

Donations of all blood types are needed, especially type O.

According to the Red Cross website, the organization was short by 61,000 donations in May and June. That shortage, which the Red Cross says is critical, is equivalent to no one donating blood for more than four days.

The Red Cross announced the shortage in early July, and despite thousands of people donating blood since then and a 30 percent increase in donations since mid-July, the shortage has continued into August.

Those who donate blood or platelets from now until Thursday, Aug. 30 will receive a $5 Amazon gift card.

Appointments can be made on the American Red Cross Blood Donor phone application or at redcrossblood.org. You can also call 1-800-RED-CROSS. 

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