Red Cross: Emergency Blood Shortage May Delay Medical Procedures

The American Red Cross is experiencing an emergency blood shortage as the nation faces the lowest number of people giving blood in 20 years. The Red Cross blood supply has fallen to critically low levels across the country, and blood and platelet donors are urged to make a donation appointment to help alleviate the shortage and help ensure lifesaving medical procedures are not put on hold.

Over the last 20 years, the number of people donating blood to the Red Cross has fallen by about 40%. When fewer people donate blood, even small disruptions to blood donations – such as the nearly 7,000-unit shortfall in blood donations the Red Cross experienced between Christmas and New Year’s Day alone – can have a huge impact on the availability of blood products and dramatic consequences for those in need of emergency blood transfusion. Blood products are currently going to hospitals faster than blood donations are coming in, and in recent weeks, the Red Cross has had to limit distributions of type O blood products – among the most transfused blood types – to hospitals.

“One of the most distressing situations for a doctor is to have a hospital full of patients and an empty blood bank without any blood on the shelves. Doctors often can’t operate without blood available to make surgeries, medical procedures and treatments possible,” said Dr. Eric Gehrie, executive physician director for the Red Cross. “More challenges lie ahead as the potential for severe winter weather and seasonal illness may compound the dire blood supply situation. Donors of all types – especially those with type O blood and those giving platelets – are urged to give now.”

Don’t wait – to make an appointment, download the Red Cross Blood Donor App, visit or call 1-800-RED CROSS (1-800-733-2767).

The Red Cross and the National Football League (NFL) are partnering this January, during National Blood Donor Month, to urge individuals to give blood or platelets and help tackle the emergency blood shortage. Those who come to give blood, platelets or plasma in January will automatically be entered for a chance to win a trip for two to Super Bowl LVIII in Las Vegas. For details, visit Bowl.

Upcoming blood donation opportunities Jan. 8-31:

1/11/2024: 10:30 a.m. – 3:30 p.m., St. Matthew’s Church, 382 Cantitoe St.

Dobbs Ferry
1/30/2024: 12 p.m. – 5 p.m., Mercy Hall, 555 Broadway

1/19/2024: 9 a.m. – 2 p.m., American Red Cross, 40 Saw Mill River Road, Upper Level 3

New Rochelle
1/26/2024: 10 a.m. – 3 p.m., New Rochelle Public Library, 1 Library Plaza, Lawton Street

North Salem
1/23/2024: 12 p.m. – 5 p.m., North Salem High School, 230 June Road

1/22/2024: 1 p.m. – 6 p.m., Hudson Valley Books for Humanity, 67 Central St.

1/31/2024: 12 p.m. – 5 p.m., American Legion Hall, 40 Bell Rd

1/17/2024: 11:30 a.m. – 4:30 p.m., Westchester Medical Center – Taylor Pavilion South, 100 Woods Rd

West Harrison
1/10/2024: 11:30 a.m. – 3:30 p.m., West Harrison Senior Center, 251 Underhill Ave.

White Plains
1/17/2024: 11:30 a.m. – 4:30 p.m., 44 Broadway, 44 South Broadway

1/11/2024: 10 a.m. – 3 p.m., Andalusia School, 380 Walnut Street

Yorktown Heights
1/31/2024: 10 a.m. – 3 p.m., Keller Williams Realty, 57 US 6, Suite 104

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