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Red Cross issues urgent appeal for blood

Red_Cross_Needs_DonorsThe American Red Cross is facing a looming blood shortage, leading to an urgent need for donors of all blood types to roll up a sleeve and give.


Donations through the Red Cross are down approximately 8 percent over the last 11 weeks, resulting in about 80,000 fewer donations than expected. The number of donors continues to decline, and the shortfall is significant enough that the Red Cross could experience an emergency situation in the coming weeks.


In addition, the Independence Day holiday falling on Friday reduced the number of blood drives scheduled in early July. Many sponsors did not host drives because people took vacations either over the long weekend or for the entire week. In an average summer week, about 4,400 Red Cross blood drives are scheduled, compared to Independence Day week when only 3,450 drives occurred.


“Hospital patients continue to need lifesaving blood this summer, and they’re relying on the generosity of volunteer donors to give them hope in the days and weeks ahead,” said Page Gambill, CEO, for the Red Cross Mid-Atlantic Blood Services Region. “Please, consider giving the gift of life. Each day donations come up short, less blood is available for patients in need – and you never know when it could be your loved one needing blood.”


Eligible donors with types O negative, B negative and A negative blood are especially needed at this time. Type O negative is the universal blood type and can be transfused to anyone who needs blood. Types A negative and B negative can be transfused to Rh positive or negative patients.


There is also an urgent need for platelet donations. Platelets – a key clotting component of blood often needed by cancer patients, burn victims and bone marrow recipients – must be transfused within five days of donation, so it’s important to have a steady supply of platelets on hand.

Here are some upcoming opportunities to donate blood:

7/22/2014: 1:00 PM – 7:00 PM: Tappahannock- Essex Volunteer Fire Department, 620 Airport Road Tappahannock
7/29/2014: 11:00 AM – 1:45 PM: Culpeper Regional Hospital, 501 Sunset Lane Culpeper
7/29/2014: 4:15 PM – 7:15 PM: Powell Wellness Center, 1005 Golf Drive Culpeper
7/29/2014: 11:00 AM – 4:00 PM: Spotsylvania Regional Medical Center, 4600 Spotsylvania Parkway Fredericksburg
8/2/2014: 11:00 AM – 4:00 PM: Mattress Discounters-Central Park, 1390 Carl D. Silver Parkway Fredericksburg
8/3/2014: 8:00 AM – 1:00 PM: Wright’s Chapel, 8063 Ladysmith Road Ruther Glen
8/7/2014: 2:00 PM – 7:00 PM: Culpeper Community, 318 S West Street Culpeper
8/7/2014: 2:00 PM – 7:00 PM: New Life in Christ Church, 11925 Burgess Lane Fredericksburg
8/8/2014: 1:00 PM – 7:00 PM: Culpeper United Methodist Church, 1233 Oaklawn Dr Culpeper
8/10/2014: 8:30 AM – 12:30 PM: Resurrection Lutheran Church, 6170 Plank Road Fredricksburg
8/10/2014: 9:00 AM – 2:00 PM: St Joseph Parish Center, 8200 Robert E Lee Drive Spotsylvania