Red Cross urges blood donation in face of looming shortage - WQOW TV: Eau Claire, WI NEWS18 News, Weather, and Sports

Red Cross urges blood donation in face of looming shortage

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MADISON (WKOW) -- The American Red Cross announced Tuesday it is facing a looming blood shortage and has an urgent need for donors of all blood types.

Donations nationwide through the Red Cross are down approximately 8% over the last 11 weeks, resulting in about 80,000 fewer donations than expected. The Red Cross feels the shortfall is significant enough it could experience an emergency situation in the coming weeks.

The summer can be among the most challenging times of the year for blood and platelet donations as regular donors delay giving while they take vacations and participate in summer activities. The Independence Day holiday falling on a Friday reduced the number of blood drives scheduled in early July. In an average summer week, about 4,400 Red Cross blood drives are scheduled, compared to this Independence Day week when only 3,450 drives occurred.

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.

There is also an urgent need for donations of platelets, a key clotting component of blood often needed by cancer patients, burn victims and bone marrow recipients.

In Madison, you can donate at the East Madison Donor Center at 210-9 Zeier Road or the West Madison Donor Center at 4860 Sheboygan Avenue.

You can call 1-800-RED CROSS (1-800-733-2767) or visit to make an appointment.

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