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Blood emergency: Red Cross issues urgent call for donors

WICHITA — Following a difficult Fourth of July week for blood donations and ongoing challenges finding new blood donors, the American Red Cross now faces a blood shortage and has issued an emergency call for eligible individuals of all blood types to give now and prevent delays in medical care.

Upcoming opportunities to donate blood in Great Bend include:

* Tuesday, July 9 - 11:30 a.m. - 5:30 p.m., Prince of Peace Parish Center, 4124 Broadway Ave.

* Monday, July 15 - 11:15 a.m. - 6:30 p.m., St Rose Auditorium, 1412 Baker Ave.

* Tuesday, July 23 - noon to 6 p.m., Walmart Supercenter, 3503 10th St.


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, according to information from the American Red Cross. 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,” said Cliff Numark, senior vice president, Red Cross Blood Services. “Right now, the Red Cross only has less than a three-day supply when we need a five-day supply to be prepared for all situations that require blood products. To help meet this need, we’ve added about 8,000 additional appointments at blood donation centers and community blood drives over the next few weeks to accommodate more donors. But we need people to fill those appointments, please join us today.”