A national crisis. That's how the American Red Cross describes the current national blood crisis saying its worst blood shortage in more than a decade.  Red Cross officials say the blood supply is so low that it's posing a risk to patient care and "forcing doctors to make difficult decisions about who receives blood transfusions and who will need to wait until more products become available."

Can you make an appointment today for a future blood donation?

If you can give the Red Cross says it's in desperate need of Blood and platelet donations.  All blood types - especially type O − are urged to make an appointment now to give in the weeks ahead. A news release from the Red Cross says in recent weeks, the Red Cross had less than a one-day supply of critical blood types and has had to limit blood product distributions to hospitals. They say at times, as much as one-quarter of hospital blood needs are not being met. You can make an appointment at redcrossblood.org or call 1 800 RED CROSS ( 1-800-733-2767).

The pandemic has kept a lot of people home missing appointments

What's the problem? The pandemic has presented a big challenge to the Red Cross with a "10% overall decline in the number of people donating blood as well as ongoing blood drive cancellations and staffing limitations. Additionally, the pandemic has contributed to a 62% drop in blood drives at schools and colleges."Make an appointment to give blood or platelets as soon as possible by using the Red Cross Blood Donor App, visiting RedCrossBlood.org or calling 1-800-RED CROSS (1-800-733-2767).
“Winter weather across the country and the recent surge of COVID-19 cases are compounding the already-dire situation facing the blood supply,” says Dr. Baia Lasky, medical director for the Red Cross. “Please, if you are eligible, make an appointment to give blood or platelets in the days and weeks ahead to ensure no patient is forced to wait for critical care.”

Giving the gift of life could win you some nice prizes

"The Red Cross and the NFL are partnering this January, during National Blood Donor Month, to urge individuals to give blood or platelets and help tackle the national blood shortage. Those who come to give blood, platelets or plasma in January will automatically be entered for a chance to win a getaway to Super Bowl LVI in Los Angeles. As an extra thank-you from the Red Cross, those who come to donate will also be automatically entered to win a home theater package and a $500 e-gift card. Terms apply; visit RedCrossBlood.org/SuperBowl for more information."

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