Red Cross Declares Emergency Blood and Platelet Shortage


The American Red Cross is experiencing an emergency blood and platelet shortage and must collect 10,000 additional blood products each week over the next month for the blood supply to recover and meet hospital and patient needs, the Red Cross announced in a news release. Donors of all blood types, especially type O, and platelet donors are urged to give now and in the weeks ahead to overcome this current shortage.

Blood donor turnout has reached the lowest levels of the year as many delayed giving amid a return to the workplace and in-person learning, as well as a recent surge in COVID-19 cases across the country due to the delta variant, according to the release. As cases spiked in August, blood donor participation decreased about 10%, but blood product distributions to hospitals have remained strong, significantly outpacing blood donations in recent weeks.  

 The national Red Cross blood inventory is the lowest it’s been at this time of year since 2015, with less than a day’s supply of certain blood types in recent weeks, according to the release. 

“Fall is typically a time when the blood supply rebounds as donors are more available to give than during the busy summer months, but this year has presented a unique and serious challenge,” said Dr. Pampee Young, chief medical officer for the Red Cross. “While it’s clear the pandemic continues to weigh heavily on our minds, the Red Cross asks the public to remember donating blood and platelets is essential to the many patients that rely on lifesaving transfusions every day.”

Make an appointment to give blood or platelets by using the Red Cross Blood Donor App, visiting or calling 1-800-733-2767.

As a thank-you, all those who come to donate through Sept. 30 and help tackle the emergency blood shortage will receive a limited-edition football-inspired T-shirt while supplies last, plus a coupon for a free haircut via email from Sport Clips Haircuts. 

All those who come to donate in October will receive a link by email to claim a free Zaxby’s Signature Sandwich reward or get a $5 e-gift card to a merchant of their choice.

To donate blood, individuals need to bring a blood donor card or driver’s license or two other forms of identification that are required at check-in. Individuals who are 17 years of age in most states (16 with parental consent where allowed by state law), weigh at least 110 pounds and are in generally good health may be eligible to donate blood. High school students and other donors 18 years of age and younger also must meet certain height and weight requirements.

The Red Cross is screening all blood, platelet and plasma donations from self-identified African American donors for the sickle cell trait. This additional screening will provide African American donors with an additional health insight and help the Red Cross identify compatible blood types more quickly to help patients with sickle cell disease who require trait-negative blood. Blood transfusion is an essential treatment for those with sickle cell disease, and blood donations from individuals of the same race, ethnicity and blood type have a unique ability to help patients fighting sickle cell disease, according to the Red Cross. 

Donors can expect to receive sickle cell trait screening results, if applicable, within one to two weeks through the Red Cross Blood Donor App and the online donor portal at  

Upcoming blood donation opportunities

• Sept. 28: Noon to 5 p.m., Mountain View Church, 940 Southwest Israel Road, Tumwater

• Sept. 29: 1:30 to 6:30 p.m., Church of LDS Henderson, 3800 Henderson Boulevard, Olympia

• Oct. 14: 10 a.m. to 3 p.m., Great Wolf Lodge, 20500 Southwest Old Highway 99, Centralia 

• Oct. 15: 12:30 to 6 p.m., Church of LDS Toledo Ward, 122 Henriot Road, Winlock

• Oct. 19: 1 to 6 p.m., New Life Baptist Church, 7838 Northeast Pacific Ave., Lacey 

• Oct. 22: 2 to 6 p.m., Red Wind Casino, 12819 Southeast Yelm Highway, Olympia

• Oct. 29: 1 to 6 p.m., Capital Mall, 625 Black Lake Boulevard, Olympia 


2 comments on this story | Please log in to comment by clicking here

I'm seeing a lot of church locations on that list. Does our donation come with a side of Mormon preaching? No thanks.

BTW, I still find it ironic that the Red Cross is crying for more blood donors, while still paying them absolutely nothing. And they turn around and sell it to hospitals, who mark up the price and sell it to their patients. And the donor gets nothing but a juice box in return.

Meanwhile, CSL and BioLife will pay you several hundreds of dollars a month for blood plasma donations.

Our current system of donations and medical care is so very broken. Sad times...

Tuesday, September 28
Check the math

Check "donation" in the dictionary. A donation of blood is a life-saving gift.

Wednesday, September 29