American Red Cross experiences lowest supply of blood in over a decade

West Virginia

American Red Cross is seeking help from donors due to a shortage in blood. (WBOY Image)

CLARKSBURG, W.Va. – The American Red Cross emergency blood shortage continues as the holiday season is approaching.

The holiday season is a busy time for the Red Cross. Partly because there is a spike in trauma admissions at hospitals due to the increase in travel. At the same time, there is a lack of donations since many people are away, traveling for the holidays.

The Red Cross declared an emergency need for donors last month, and since then thousands of people have come to blood drives and donated.

Hospital demand is so strong that at least 10,000 more donations every week are needed to meet the needs of patients.

The American Red Cross is offering incentives through Amazon and Amazon Prime Video for donors who give blood between Nov. 1-23:

  • Donors between Nov. 1-23 will receive a $10 Amazon Gift Card by email, courtesy of Amazon.
  • Donors between Nov. 1-12 will be entered to win a trip for two to Hawaii, courtesy of Amazon Prime Video, in honor of the new series, I Know What You Did Last Summer.
    • During the trip, the winner will go where the series was filmed. Along with round-trip airfare for two, the winner will get hotel accommodations for nine nights, meals, a $1,000 gift card for expenses and stops from Honolulu to Maui.

The demand being seen right now shows the current need for blood donations, this doesn’t include the spike in demand during the holiday season, and also the challenges that come with obtaining the blood during this time.

“We’re putting out a call to the public to please consider donating life saving blood. We want to make sure that we continue to remind the public that they can provide perhaps one of the best gifts during this season in the form of life saving blood,” said Jason Keeling, Executive Director, American Red Cross- Allegheny Highlands Chapter.

The American Red Cross is calling out for donors of all blood types to make an appointment. There is always a special need for type-O donors, who provide the universal blood type.

Jason Keeling, Executive Director, American Red Cross- Allegheny Highlands Chapter, speaks about the process and importance of donating blood.

According to Keeling, fear during the pandemic is believed to be partly responsible for the lack of blood donations.

The Red Cross blood drive locations have high standards for safety, including precautionary actions. All donors are required to wear a mask regardless of vaccination status.

Requirements to donate blood:

  • Individuals need to bring a blood donor card, driver’s license or two other forms of identification.
  • Individuals who are 17 years of age in most states (16 with parental consent where allowed by state law), weigh at least 110 pounds and are in generally good health may be eligible to donate blood.
  • High school students and other donors 18 years of age and younger also must meet certain height and weight requirements.

Potential donors can save up to 15 minutes at the blood drive by completing a RapidPass®. To complete a RapidPass®, follow the instructions at RedCrossBlood.org/RapidPass.

A list of upcoming blood drives in West Virginia by county:

  • Harrison
    • Bridgeport
      • 11/22/2021: 1:30 p.m. – 6:30 p.m., Meadowbrook Mall Bridgeport, 2399 Meadowbrook Mall Rd
  • Lewis
    • Roanoke
      • 11/9/2021: 11 a.m. – 4 p.m., Stonewall Resort, 940 Resort Drive
  • Marion
    • Fairmont
      • 11/2/2021: 11:30 a.m. – 5 p.m., Colebank Gym, 1201 Locust Ave
      • 11/3/2021: 1 p.m. – 6:30 p.m., Central United Methodist Church, 301 Fairmont Ave
      • 11/19/2021: 1 p.m. – 6:30 p.m., Pleasant Valley Fire Department, 1707 Pleasant Valley Rd
      • 11/23/2021: 1 p.m. – 6 p.m., Police Reserve Building, 35 City View Terrace
  • Monongalia
    • Morgantown
      • 11/4/2021: 12 p.m. – 5 p.m., WVU Erickson Alumni Center, 1 Alumni Dr
      • 11/5/2021: 10:30 a.m. – 3:30 p.m., West Virginia University Student Recreation Center, 2001 Rec Center Dr.
      • 11/5/2021: 12 p.m. – 5 p.m., RSMO Am Red Cross Morgantown, 1299 Pineview Drive, Ste 300
      • 11/8/2021: 8 a.m. – 12 p.m., Health Science Center South Tower, 1 Medical Center Drive
      • 11/9/2021: 11:30 a.m. – 5 p.m., The Christian & Missionary Alliance Church, 308 Elmhurst St
      • 11/12/2021: 12 p.m. – 5 p.m., RSMO Am Red Cross Morgantown, 1299 Pineview Drive, Ste 300
      • 11/16/2021: 1 p.m. – 7 p.m., Morgantown Elks Lodge 411, 1138 Chestnut Ridge Rd
      • 11/17/2021: 1 p.m. – 6 p.m., Hotel Morgan, 127 High St.
      • 11/19/2021: 12 p.m. – 5 p.m., RSMO Am Red Cross Morgantown, 1299 Pineview Drive, Ste 300
      • 11/23/2021: 12 p.m. – 5 p.m., Courtyard Marriott, 460 Courtyard Street
  • Preston
    • Bruceton Mills
      • 11/18/2021: 12 p.m. – 5:30 p.m., Bruceton Fire Hall, Union Street
  • Randolph
    • Elkins
      • 11/17/2021: 12:30 p.m. – 6 p.m., Elks Lodge, 1953 Country Club Road, P.O. Box 1210
  • Upshur
    • Buckhannon
      • 11/15/2021: 11:30 a.m. – 5 p.m., Chapel Hill United Methodist Church, 88 S Kanawha Street

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