Red Cross seeking blood donations during severe shortage

John Richmeier
The Leavenworth Times

The American Red Cross is experiencing a severe shortage of donated blood.

Hospitals are responding to an unusually high number of traumas and emergency room visits this summer as well as overdoses. Angie Springs, regional communications manager for the Red Cross, said in a news release that some hospitals are having to slow the pace of elective surgeries because of the blood shortage.

Red Cross officials are urging people of all blood types, but especially type O, to donate blood.

People can schedule an appointment to give blood by visiting RedCrossBlood.org or calling 1-800-RED CROSS (1-800-733-2767). People also can use the Red Cross blood donor app or enable the blood donor skill on any Alexa Echo device.

A blood drive is scheduled for 1-5 p.m. July 12 at Genesis Health Club, 2924 S. Fourth St. in Leavenworth.

People who donate blood by July 31 can receive $10 e-gift cards for Amazon. People also will be entered into a drawing for a Gas for a Year Giveaway prize of gift cards totaling $5,000 for a gas station vendor.

In most cases, people who have received a COVID-19 vaccine can donate blood. But knowing the name of the manufacturer of the vaccine one has received is important in determining donation eligibility, according to a news release from the Red Cross.