American Red Cross Facing Serious Shortages of Blood Supply

The American Red Cross (ARC) has issued an emergency call for eligible individuals of all blood types to donate and prevent delays in medical care.

About 450 fewer blood drives were organized by businesses and other community groups during the July 4 holiday period 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,” said Cliff Numark, senior vice president of 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.”

In June, the Red Cross launched its “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, ARC officials said blood donations still fell short of expectations in June, resulting in more than 24,000 fewer donations than needed and about 1,900 fewer here in the Southern California Blood Services Region, causing a significant draw down of the Red Cross blood supply.

The organization is extending its current blood drive in Southern California to July 31 to attract new and more donors. 

“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 said.

Below is a listing of Valley-area locations accepting donations:

Canoga Park

July 25, 2 p.m. - 8 p.m., Los Angeles Police Department Topanga, 21501 Schoenborn St.

Granada Hills

July 13, 9 a.m. - 3 p.m., Granada Hills Pavilion, 11128 Balboa Blvd.; July 15, and July 19, 11:45 a.m. - 5:45 p.m., Granada Hills Pavilion, 11128 Balboa Blvd.; July 28, 8 a.m. - 2 p.m., St. Euphrasia Catholic Church, 11766 Shoshone Ave.; July 29, 11:45 a.m. - 5:45 p.m., Granada Hills Pavilion, 11128 Balboa Blvd.

North Hills

July 16, 8 a.m. - 8 p.m., Galpin Motors, 15555 Roscoe Blvd.

North Hollywood

July 24, 12 p.m. - 6 p.m., North Hollywood Recreation Center, 11430 W. Chandler Blvd.; July 30-31, 12 p.m. - 6 p.m., St. Patrick Catholic Church, 10625 Erwin St.

Northridge

July 12, 10 a.m. - 4 p.m., Northridge Toyota, 19550 Nordhoff St.; July 14, 8 a.m. - 2 p.m., Community Christian Alliance Church, 18827 Roscoe Blvd.; July 16, 10 a.m. - 4 p.m., Los Angeles Police Department, 10250 Etiwanda Ave.; July 19, 11 a.m. - 5 p.m., JC Penney, 9301 Tampa Ave.; July 29, 1 p.m. - 7 p.m., United Methodist Church, 9650 Reseda Blvd.

Pacoima

July 21, 8:30 a.m. - 2:30 p.m., Mary Immaculate Catholic Church, 10390 Remick Ave.

Panorama City

July 25, 9:30 a.m. - 3:30 p.m., National Career College, 14355 Roscoe Blvd.; July 25, 1 p.m. - 7 p.m., Panorama City American Legion Hall, 13553 Reedley Ave.; July 27, 9 a.m. - 3 p.m., Panorama City American Legion Hall, 13553 Reedley Ave.

Sherman Oaks

July 11, 1 p.m. - 7 p.m., Westfield Fashion Square, 14006 Riverside Dr.

Studio City

July 29, 11:30 a.m. - 5:30 p.m., CrossFit Horsepower, 11559 Ventura Blvd.

Sylmar

July 26, 10 a.m. - 4 p.m., Sylmar Library, 14561 Polk St.; July 28, 8:30 a.m. - 2:30 p.m., St. Didacus Church, 14325 Astoria St.

Van Nuys

July 11, 3 p.m. - 9 p.m., The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, 15555 Saticoy St.; July 14, 7:30 a.m. - 1:30 p.m., St Elisabeth Church, 14655 Kittridge St.

Woodland Hills

Residents and others in the community can donate from July 11 to July 31 at the Woodland Hills Blood Donation Center; Warner Center Marriott; eaves by Avalon; and the St. Bernardine of Siena Catholic Church. Visit or contact those locations for specific times and dates.

For more information, visit the RedCrossBlood.org website or call (800) RED CROSS (1-800-733-2767).

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