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American Red Cross faces critical blood shortage, calls for donations through winter

The American Red Cross has issued an urgent call for blood donations amid a severe shortage, marking the lowest blood donation levels in 20 years. This critical situation has led to a substantial drop in the national blood supply, affecting the availability of blood and platelets for medical procedures.


Over the past two decades, there has been a 40% decrease in the number of blood donors to the Red Cross. This decline, combined with specific disruptions like the nearly 7,000-unit shortfall during the recent holiday season, significantly impacts the availability of blood products. The shortage is so acute that the Red Cross has had to restrict distributions of type O blood, one of the most needed blood types, to hospitals.

The Red Cross urges individuals to act now by scheduling a donation appointment. Donors can use the Red Cross Blood Donor App, visit RedCrossBlood.org, or call 1-800-RED CROSS (1-800-733-2767) to make an appointment. The current shortage poses a dire risk to emergency medical care, making every donation crucial.