The American Red Cross issues an urgent call for help for all Nebraskans. Omaha spokesperson Samantha Pollard says, “We are experiencing an emergency blood shortage right now. Unfortunately over the past couple of weeks, especially over the July 4th holiday, that really hit us hard when it comes on a Wednesday and they are just not thinking of blood donation.”
More than 550 fewer blood drives were organized by businesses and other community groups last week than during a typical week. This could equate to as many as 15,000 fewer donations than needing. Pollard says blood they are delivering to hospitals today was donated two weeks ago. She says that is why it is so important to donate whenever you can so there is always a steady supply on the shelf.
This need is especially critical for type O blood donors. Type O is the most in-demand blood type and the first to be depleted from hospital shelves during a shortage.
Nebraskans can help by scheduling an appointment to donate. Donors can use the free Red Cross Blood Donor app, visit RedCrossBlood.org or call 1-800-Ree Cross. Nationally, the Red Cross has added about 6.500 additional appointment slots at donation centers and community blood drives over the next few weeks to accommodate more donors.