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Blood emergency: Red Cross issues urgent call for blood and platelet donors


The American Red Cross issued an emergency call for eligible people of all blood types to give now and prevent delays in medical care.

This comes after a difficult Fourth of July week for blood and platelet donations and ongoing challenges finding new blood donors.

About 450 fewer blood drives were organized by businesses and other community groups last week than during a typical week as people across the country celebrated the holiday with activities and travel.

This led to about 17,000 fewer blood donations than needed for patients in a single week, causing the Red Cross to now have less than a three-day supply of most blood types available, and less than a two-day supply of type O blood, for patients. At least a five-day supply is desired.

“Medical emergencies and critical treatments don’t stop for holiday celebrations. Patients depend on lifesaving blood transfusions every day,” Cliff Numark, senior vice president for Red Cross Blood Services, said.

To help meet this need, the Red Cross added about 8,000 additional appointments at blood donation centers and community blood drives over the next few weeks to accommodate more donors.

The challenge, however, is filling those appointments.

In June, the Red Cross launched the Missing Types campaign to encourage donors, especially new donors and those who have not donated in the past years, to give blood or platelets during the challenging summer months.

Through the campaign, the letters A, B and O – letters that make up the main blood groups – disappeared from popular brands to symbolize what happens when blood goes missing from hospital shelves during blood shortages.

Despite an encouraging response to the campaign, blood donations still fell short of expectations in June, resulting in more than 24,000 fewer donations than needed, approximately 3050 fewer donations in the New York-Penn Blood Services Region.

This resulted in a significant draw down of the Red Cross blood supply.

“Blood is only available when generous blood and platelet donors roll up a sleeve to give, and right now, all donors – especially those give have never given or haven’t given in a while – are urged to make an appointment to give today,” Numark added.

Donors of all blood types, especially type O, are urged to make an appointment to donate using the Blood Donor App, or by calling 1-800-RED CROSS (1-800-733-2767).

Donation appointments and completion of a RapidPass online health history questionnaire are encouraged to help reduce the time it takes to donate.

Those interested in hosting a blood drive can learn more and sign up to sponsor a drive this summer by clicking here.

Below is a list of upcoming blood drives for the month of July.



7/12/2019: 1 p.m. – 6 p.m., Arnot Ogden Medical Center, 600 Roe Avenue

7/12/2019: 1 p.m. – 6 p.m., St Joseph’s Hospital, 555 East Market Street

7/13/2019: 10 a.m. – 3 p.m., Ferrario Auto, 2472 Corning Road

7/19/2019: 10 a.m. – 3 p.m., Steele Memorial Library, 101 East Church Street

7/23/2019: 2 p.m. – 6 p.m., Seventh Day Adventist, 813 Maple Avenue

7/25/2019: 1 p.m. – 6 p.m., First Presbyterian Church, 1054 West Clinton Street

Elmira Heights

7/31/2019: 1 p.m. – 6 p.m., American Legion Post 154, 236 Scottwood Avenue


7/24/2019: 12:30 p.m. – 5:30 p.m., American Legion Post 442, 71 Old Ithaca Road



Watkins Glen

7/27/2019: 8 a.m. – 1 p.m., Lakeview Assembly of God, 3601 State Route 14




7/15/2019: 2:30 p.m. – 6:30 p.m., South Seneca Elementary, 8326 North Main Street, Route 96

Seneca Falls

7/17/2019: 2 p.m. – 6 p.m., Orthopedic Plus, 2109 Route 5&20




7/12/2019: 8:45 a.m. – 2 p.m., Steuben County Office Building, 3 East Pulteney Square

7/26/2019: 12 p.m. – 5 p.m., Bath Ambulance, 110 East Steuben Street


7/12/2019: 11:30 a.m. – 4:30 p.m., Emanuel Lutheran Church, 149 West William Street

7/30/2019: 2 p.m. – 6 p.m., Southeast Steuben County Library, 300 Nassar Civic Center Plaza, #101


7/18/2019: 11:45 a.m. – 5:45 p.m., Hammondsport Fire Department, 8521 State Route 54


7/24/2019: 1 p.m. – 6 p.m., American Legion, 72 Seneca Street

7/25/2019: 12 p.m. – 4 p.m., St James Hospital, 411 Canisteo Street

Painted Post

7/30/2019: 11:30 a.m. – 4:30 p.m., Healthworks, 9768 Liberty Drive


7/30/2019: 4 p.m. – 8 p.m., Lighthouse Wesleyan Church – Wayland, 101 S. Lackawanna Street




7/18/2019: 1:30 p.m. – 6:30 p.m., Branchport Fire Department, 3686 State Route 54A


7/17/2019: 12 p.m. – 6 p.m., Himrod Fire Department, 3530 Himrod Road

Penn Yan

7/17/2019: 2 p.m. – 7 p.m., Benton Fire Department, 932 Rt 14A


7/23/2019: 2 p.m. – 7 p.m., United Methodist Church, 26 North Main Street

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