Severe blood shortage: Red Cross issues immediate call for blood donations

COLUMBUS — The American Red Cross is facing a severe blood shortage and urgently needs blood donors to give now to avoid delays in lifesaving medical care for patients. Volunteer blood drive hosts are also critically needed to prevent the shortage from worsening this winter.

During September and October, the Red Cross collected over 21,000 fewer blood and platelet donations than what hospitals needed. Blood donors of all blood types, but especially type O, are urged to make an appointment to donate at or by calling 1-800-RED CROSS (1-800-733-2767).

Fewer blood drives in September and October coupled with hurricanes Michael and Florence, which caused thousands of blood and platelet donations to go uncollected, were key contributing factors to the current blood shortage.

“This time of year, as many give thanks for family, friends and good health, it’s important to remember that patients across the country cannot survive without your generosity,” said Cliff Numark, senior vice president, Red Cross Biomedical Services. “From traumas to ongoing cancer treatments, the need for blood doesn’t stop for the holidays. People can give back – and help those in need – by making a lifesaving blood or platelet donation now and hosting a blood drive in the weeks to come.”

An additional 4,300 blood drives nationally – and 140 blood drives in this area – are needed in December, January and February to help stop the shortage from continuing throughout winter. Donations often decline during the winter holidays when many groups postpone blood drives while regular donors are busy with holiday activities and travel. Severe winter weather may also cause blood drive cancellations contributing to fewer donations than needed.

To encourage donations around the Thanksgiving holiday, those who come to donate blood with the Red Cross Nov. 21-24 will receive a long-sleeved Red Cross T-shirt, while supplies last.

How to help

Eligible donors can find a blood donation opportunity and schedule an appointment to donate by using the free Blood Donor App, visiting or calling 1-800-RED CROSS (1-800-733-2767). Donation appointments and completion of a RapidPass, are encouraged to help speed up the donation process. RapidPass lets donors complete the pre-donation reading and answer the health history questionnaire online, on the day of their donation, from the convenience of a mobile device or computer, or through the Blood Donor App.

 Those interested in hosting a blood drive can learn more and sign up to sponsor a drive this winter, by visiting


Upcoming blood donation opportunities Nov. 13-Dec. 15



12/5/2018: 9 a.m. – 3 p.m., Schuyler Central High School, 401 Adam St.


12/4/2018: 12 p.m. – 6 p.m., American Legion Hall, 213 N. Main Street


11/14/2018: 10:30 a.m. – 4:30 p.m., Midland University, 900 North Clarkson, Hopkins Arena

11/25/2018: 11:30 a.m. – 5:30 p.m., Baker’s Fremont, 1531 N Bell St.

12/3/2018: 12 p.m. – 6 p.m., Fremont City Auditorium, 925 N. Broad St

12/4/2018: 10:30 a.m. – 4:30 p.m., Fremont City Auditorium, 925 N. Broad St

12/15/2018: 11 a.m. – 5 p.m., Keene Memorial Library Central Library, 1030 N Broad Street


11/19/2018: 9 a.m. – 2 p.m., Logan View High School, 2163 County Road G


11/19/2018: 8 a.m. – 2 p.m., Scribner-Snyder High School, 400 Pebble  Box L

Cedar Bluffs

11/20/2018: 12:30 p.m. – 6:30 p.m., St. Matthew Lutheran Church, 300 S 2nd St


12/12/2018: 11:30 a.m. – 4:30 p.m., Mead Public Schools, 114 North Vine


12/15/2018: 7 a.m. – 12 p.m., American Legion Hall, 430 W 2nd St


11/14/2018: 8 a.m. – 2 p.m., Wahoo High School, 2201 N. Locust

12/6/2018: 8 a.m. – 2 p.m., Bishop Neumann High School, 202 S Linden


12/15/2018: 7:30 a.m. – 12 p.m., City Auditorium, 410 W. Elm St


11/28/2018: 8:30 a.m. – 2:30 p.m., Blair High School, 440 North 10th St.

Fort Calhoun

12/5/2018: 8 a.m. – 2 p.m., Fort Calhoun High School, 5876 Co Rd P43