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American Red Cross Issues Emergency Call For Blood

23-year-old Kelsie Webster chats with Red Cross staffer Alberto Duenas while donating blood

The Red Cross is calling the blood shortage "critical" and is asking eligible blood donors of all blood types to give now. That's the equivalent of the Red Cross not collecting any blood at all for four days.

"It's crucial that people donate now to meet the needs of patients every day and to be prepared for emergencies that require significant volumes of donated blood", said Jan Hale, communications manager of the Southwest Blood Services Region.

Blood and platelet donations are being sent to hospitals faster than donations are coming in.

"Blood can't be manufactured", said Mauger.

A blood donor at the Kraft Family Blood Donor Center. The Red Cross says if you plan to donate, drink lots of water, and if you are taking medication bring a list with you.

To help alleviate the shortage, local Red Cross staffers and volunteers are holding extra blood drives throughout south-central Wisconsin during the next three weeks. Almost 700 fewer blood drives are scheduled during the Independence Day week than the weeks before and after the holiday. Scheduling an appointment and completing an online RapidPass questionnaire can reduce the time it takes to donate. "And I've probably given about 20 gallons of blood over time". The Red Cross has added about 25,000 additional appointment slots at donation centers and community blood drives across the country over the next few weeks to help accommodate an influx of donors.

Zydio said it is easy for residents to visit the website, redcrossblood.org, enter their Zip Code, and find where upcoming blood drive opportunities are in their neighborhoods.