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The American Red Cross is experiencing an emergency blood and platelet shortage and must 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 this current shortage, according to a press release. 

Blood donor turnout has reached the lowest levels of the year as many delayed giving amid a return to the workplace and in-person learning.

The national Red Cross 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, according to the release. 

“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. 

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).

Each Red Cross blood drive and donation center follows the highest standards of safety and infection control, and additional precautions – including face masks for donors and staff, regardless of vaccination status – have been implemented to help protect the health of all those in attendance. Donors are asked to schedule an appointment prior to arriving at the drive.

In early October, there will be three blood drives in Clay County: 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Oct. 4 at Hillsong Kansas City, 2620 Burlington; noon-5:30 p.m. Oct. 7 at First United Methodist Church of Kearney, 1000 E. State Route 92; and 1:30- 6 p.m. Oct. 15, Kansas City Church, 7700 N. Church Road. 

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