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. Donors of all blood types — especially type O — and platelet donors are urged to make an appointment to give now and in the weeks ahead to overcome this current shortage.

According to a press release, blood donor turnout has reached the lowest levels of the year as many delayed giving as they returned 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. As cases spiked in August, blood donor participation decreased about 10 percent, but blood product distributions to hospitals have significantly outpaced blood donations in recent weeks. 

The national Red Cross blood inventory is the lowest it has been at this time of year since 2015, with less than a day’s supply of certain blood types in recent weeks. The supply of types O positive and O negative blood, the most needed blood types by hospitals, dropped to less than a half-day supply at times over the last month —  well below the ideal five-day supply.

The Red Cross urges people to make an appointment to give blood or platelets as soon as possible by using the Red Cross Blood Donor App, visiting RedCrossBlood.org or calling 1-800-RED CROSS (1-800-733-2767). 

Each Red Cross blood drive and donation center follows safety and infection control standards, and additional precautions — including face masks for donors and staff, regardless of vaccination status — have been implemented to help protect the health of all those in attendance. Donors are asked to schedule an appointment prior to arriving at the drive. 

 

Upcoming blood drives in Seattle in October are:

Oct. 8: 11 a.m. - 4 p.m., Seattle City Hall, 600 Fourth Ave.

Oct. 11: 10 a.m. - 4 p.m., Van Vorst, 426 Terry Ave. N.

Oct. 11: 11 a.m. - 4 p.m., American Red Cross Seattle Chapter, 1900 25th Ave. S.

Oct. 12: 10 a.m. - 4 p.m., Van Vorst, 426 Terry Ave. N.

Oct. 13: 10 a.m. - 4 p.m., Van Vorst, Terry Ave. N.

Oct. 14: 10 a.m. - 4 p.m., Van Vorst, 426 Terry Ave. N.

Oct. 15: 10 a.m. - 4 p.m., Van Vorst, 426 Terry Ave. N.

Oct. 18: 11:30 a.m. - 4:30 p.m., American Red Cross Seattle Chapter, 1900 25th Ave. S.

Oct. 25: 11 a.m. - 4 p.m., American Red Cross Seattle Chapter, 1900 25th Ave. S.

Oct. 28: 2 p.m. - 7 p.m., Seattle First Baptist Church, 1111 Harvard Ave.