American Red Cross experiencing emergency blood shortage

The American Red Cross is experiencing an emergency blood 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 are urged to make an appointment to give now and in the weeks ahead to overcome this current shortage.

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, as well as a recent surge in COVID-19 cases across the country due to the delta variant. As cases spiked in August, blood donor participation decreased about 10%, but blood product distributions to hospitals have remained strong, significantly outpacing blood donations in recent weeks.

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.  Those interested can make an appointment to give blood or platelets as soon as possible by using the Red Cross blood donor app, visiting, or calling 1-800-RED CROSS, or 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.

Upcoming American Red Cross blood drives in Mower County include one today (Monday) in Adams at Little Cedar Lutheran Church from noon to 6 p.m., also in Austin at Grace Lutheran Church today (Monday) from noon to 6 p.m., at Mayo Clinic Health System at 1000 1st Drive NW on October 1st from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. and in Grand Meadow on October 8th at Grand Meadow Lutheran Church from 1 p.m. to 7 p.m.