American Red Cross issues urgent call for blood donors

Athol Daily News Staff
Published: 7/10/2018 11:21:42 PM

DEDHAM — An emergency blood shortage is prompting the American Red Cross to issue an urgent call for eligible donors of all blood types, especially type O, to give now and help save lives throughout the state.

The Red Cross escalated its call for blood and platelet donors after a difficult Independence Day week for donations. More than 550 fewer blood drives were organized by businesses and other community groups last week than during a typical week, as individuals across the country celebrated the holiday and enjoyed summer activities. This could equate to as many as 15,000 fewer donations than needed, according to the Red Cross, causing donations to now be distributed to hospitals faster than they come in.

“Each and every day, individuals across the country depend on blood and platelet donations for lifesaving treatments and emergency care, so it’s critical that people donate now to meet these needs,” said Cliff Numark, senior vice president Red Cross Blood Services. “Whether you’ve never donated or give a couple of times a year, you’re needed to give as soon as possible to help save patient lives. Yours may be the donation a patient is counting on.”

This need is especially critical for type O blood donors, he said. Type O is the most in-demand blood type, and often the first to be depleted from hospital shelves during a shortage. Type O negative is the universal blood type, and what emergency room personnel reach for when there is no time to determine the blood type of patients in the most serious situations. Type O positive is the most common blood type, and can be transfused to Rh-positive patients of any blood type.

How to help

To schedule an appointment to donate, use the free Red Cross Blood Donor App, visit or call 800-733-2767. The Red Cross has added about 6,500 additional appointment slots at donation centers and community blood drives across the country over the next few weeks to accommodate more donors.

Facing a decline of about 80,000 new Red Cross blood donors each year for the past several years, the Red Cross launched the Missing Types campaign in June to encourage new donors — and those who have not given recently — to donate blood. While the campaign has already inspired thousands of new donors to give, the Red Cross is now calling on all eligible blood and platelet donors to roll up a sleeve, as soon as possible, to overcome the emergency blood shortage. Upcoming blood donation opportunities in Worcester County July 9 through 31.


Wednesday, July 25, 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. at American Legion Post 102, 325 Pequoig Ave.

East Templeton

Monday, July 16, 2 to 7 p.m. at Kamaloht, 1 North Main St.


Today, 1 to 6 p.m. at American Legion Post, 295 School St.

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