Red Cross issues emergency call for blood and platelet donors - WQOW TV: Eau Claire, WI NEWS18 News, Weather, and Sports

Red Cross issues emergency call for blood and platelet donors

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MADISON (WKOW) -- The American Red Cross has issued an emergency call for blood and platelet donors.

Our local Red Cross chapter says across the country, fewer donors than expected gave blood and platelets through the American Red Cross during June and the first week of July. Bobbi Snethen, with the Badger-Hawkeye chapter, says donations through the Red Cross were down approximately 10 percent in June, resulting in about 50,000 fewer donations than expected.
 
"The Red Cross also went on a national appeal for blood donations in June of 2012," Snethen said in a statement. "This year's donation shortfall of 50,000 donations is similar to what the Red Cross experienced last year; however, thanks to the efforts of volunteer blood drive coordinators, generous donors and dedicated staff, the Red Cross blood supply is not quite as low. That said, June blood and platelet donation levels were much lower than expected due to a mid-week Independence Day holiday that reduced the number of drive held in early July. Each day donations come up short, less blood is available for those patients in need."

Snethen says the American Red cross must collect almost 17,000 pints of blood every day.

"Here in the Badger-Hawkeye Region, which serves Wisconsin, eastern Iowa and the Michigan UP, we need to collect approximately 500 pints each and every day to meet the needs of patients," Snethen said.

Donating takes about 45 minutes to an hour, and donors are offered refreshments at the end. The Badger-Hawkeye chapter is also currently offering a promotion. Blood donors through July 15 will be automatically entered into a drawing to win a $3,000 American Express gift card.

Snethen said she is unsure if the current promotion is helping bring in more donors in our area, but says the chapter is thankful to those who are responding to its call.

Snethen says those eligible are encouraged to visit the Red Cross website or call 1-800-RED-CROSS to make an appointment as soon as possible. She says all blood types are needed to ensure a reliable supply for patients.

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