‘Donate now:’ Red Cross issues urgent call for blood donors after emergency blood shortage

MILWAUKEE — The American Red Cross is experiencing an emergency blood shortage after a difficult Fourth of July week. The nonprofit has issued an urgent call for eligible donors of all blood types – especially those with blood type O – to give now and help save lives.

Lizzie Gill

“We love it when people walk in and decide to roll up a sleeve and give blood,” said Lizzie Gill, account manager with the American Red Cross.

At Hillside Family Health Center in Milwaukee on Monday, July 9, donors helped replenish the dwindling blood supply.

“Blood is going to hospitals faster than it’s being donated,” said Gill. “We saw about 550 less blood drives last week because of the holiday.”

The American Red Cross has been experiencing a shortage since Independence Day – with holiday celebrations and travel taking a toll on blood supply. This could equal to as many as 15,000 fewer donations than needed, and that need hasn’t changed.

“Every two seconds, someone needs a unit of blood,” said Gill.

Giving blood is simple — and quick, too.

“They stick you with a needle and you’re usually out within a half hour — pretty quick,” said Thomas Lord, who donated blood on Monday, July 9.

Lord is a regular donor with the rare and universal donor blood type of O negative.

According to the American Red Cross, type O is the most in-demand blood type and often the first be depleted from hospital shelves during a shortage. Type O negative is the universal blood type and what emergency room personnel reach for when there is no time to determine the blood type of patients in the most serious situations. Type O positive is the most common blood type and can be transfused to Rh-positive patients of any blood type. 

“I hope that if I’m ever in the hospital, there’s blood available for me, and for that to work, people need to give whenever they can,” said Lord.

“Each and every day, individuals across the country depend on blood and platelet donations for lifesaving treatments and emergency care, so it’s critical that people donate now to meet these needs. Whether you’ve never donated or give a couple of times a year, you’re needed to give as soon as possible to help save patient lives. Yours may be the donation a patient is counting on,” said Laura McGuire with Red Cross Blood Services.

That one small act — as tiny as a pin prick — could make all the difference.

“That’s a quick act of heroism and you get to save three lives, and it really makes an impact, not only on our community but on individuals and families as well,” said Gill.

How to help

To schedule an appointment to donate, use the free Red Cross Blood Donor App, visit RedCrossBlood.org or call 1-800-RED CROSS (1-800-733-2767). The Red Cross has added about 6,500 additional appointment slots at donation centers and community blood drives across the country over the next few weeks to accommodate more donors. Donation appointments and completion of a RapidPass online health history questionnaire are encouraged to help reduce the time it takes to donate.

Upcoming blood donation opportunities

  • Dodge County
    • Ashippun: 7/9/2018: 12 p.m. – 6 p.m., Ashippun Town Hall, W1266 Hwy O
    • Fox Lake: 7/17/2018: 1 p.m. – 6 p.m., Living Hope Community Church, 740 W. State St, PO Box 111
    • Horicon: 7/17/2018: 1 p.m. – 6 p.m., Horicon Police Department, 220 Ellison St
    • Iron Ridge: 7/10/2018: 1:30 p.m. – 6 p.m., St Michael’s Lutheran Church, N4911 Gray Road
    • Juneau: 7/10/2018: 1 p.m. – 6 p.m., Juneau Community Center, 500 Lincoln
    • Lomira: 7/16/2018: 12 p.m. – 6 p.m., Trinity United Methodist Church, 300 Church St
    • Mayville: 7/26/2018: 12:30 p.m. – 5:30 p.m., American Legion, 134 South Main Street
    • Randolph: 8/6/2018: 12 p.m. – 5 p.m., Village of Randolph, Village of Randolph, 248 West Stroud St
    • Watertown: 7/26/2018: 9 a.m. – 2 p.m., Marquardt Village Towne Centre, 1045 Hill St
    • Waupun: 7/19/2018: 1 p.m. – 6 p.m., Waupun Fire Department, 16 E Main St
  • Fond du Lac County
    • Brandon: 7/17/2018: 1 p.m. – 6 p.m., Bethel Reformed Church, 305 W Main St
    • Fond du Lac: 7/31/2018: 11 a.m. – 6 p.m., American Legion, 500 Fond du Lac Ave
    • Ripon: 8/7/2018: 9 a.m. – 2 p.m., Ripon High School, 850 Tiger Dr
  • Jefferson County
    • Fort Atkinson: 7/24/2018: 12 p.m. – 6 p.m., American Legion, 201 S Water St
    • Johnson Creek: 7/12/2018: 12 p.m. – 6 p.m., St Johns Lutheran Church, 129 N Watertown St
    • Lake Mills: 8/7/2018: 12 p.m. – 6 p.m., City Hall, 200 Water St
    • Waterloo: 7/13/2018: 11 a.m. – 4 p.m., Karl Junginger Memorial Library, 625 Monroe St.
    • Watertown
      • 7/25/2018: 1:30 p.m. – 6:30 p.m., Good Shepherd Lutheran Church, 1611 E Main St
      • 8/6/2018: 12 p.m. – 6 p.m., St. Mark’s Evangelical Lutheran School, 706 Jones Street
      • 8/7/2018: 10 a.m. – 4 p.m., St. Mark’s Evangelical Lutheran School, 706 Jones Street
  • Kenosha County
    • Kenosha
      • 7/13/2018: 1 p.m. – 6 p.m., Festival Foods, 6000 31st st
      • 8/2/2018: 1 p.m. – 6 p.m., Lord of Life Lutheran Church, 5601 Washington Rd
  • Milwaukee County
    • Milwaukee
      • 7/9/2018: 10 a.m. – 2 p.m., Hillside Resource Center, 1452 N 7th St
      • 7/17/2018: 9:45 a.m. – 2:45 p.m., US Courthouse, 517 E Wisconsin Ave
      • 7/19/2018: 9 a.m. – 2 p.m., Schlitz Park Office Building, 1555 N River Center Dr
      • 7/20/2018: 8 a.m. – 1 p.m., American Red Cross in Southeast WI, 2600 W Wisconsin Ave
      • 7/31/2018: 1 p.m. – 6 p.m., Lutheran Chapel of the Cross, 3353 S. Whitnall
    • Oak Creek: 7/24/2018: 9:30 a.m. – 3:30 p.m., Oak Creek Community Center, 8580 S. Howell  Ave
    • West Allis: 8/3/2018: 10 a.m. – 3 p.m., West Allis City Hall, 7525 W. Greenfield Ave.
  • Ozaukee County
    • Grafton: 8/3/2018: 11 a.m. – 3 p.m., USS Liberty Memorial Public Library Central Library, 1620 11th Ave
  • Racine County
    • Rochester: 7/27/2018: 10 a.m. – 3 p.m., Village of Rochester Village Hall, 300 W Spring St
  • Sheboygan County
    • Plymouth: 7/12/2018: 11:30 a.m. – 5:30 p.m., Good Shepherd Lutheran Church, N5990 Country Aire Rd
    • Sheboygan
      • 7/13/2018: 10 a.m. – 3 p.m., Sheboygan Trades and Labor Hall, 1104 Wisconsin Ave
      • 7/20/2018: 10 a.m. – 3 p.m., Sheboygan Trades and Labor Hall, 1104 Wisconsin Ave
      • 7/27/2018: 10 a.m. – 3 p.m., Sheboygan Trades and Labor Hall, 1104 Wisconsin Ave
      • 8/2/2018: 11 a.m. – 4 p.m., Mead Public Library, 710 N. 8th St.
      • 8/3/2018: 10 a.m. – 3 p.m., Sheboygan Trades and Labor Hall, 1104 Wisconsin Ave
      • 8/10/2018: 10 a.m. – 3 p.m., Sheboygan Trades and Labor Hall, 1104 Wisconsin Ave
    • Sheboygan Falls: 7/13/2018: 1 p.m. – 6 p.m., Pine Haven Christian Communities, 220 Haven Dr
  • Walworth County
    • East Troy: 7/16/2018: 10:30 a.m. – 3:30 p.m., East Troy Bible Church, 2660 North St -Hwy 20
    • Elkhorn: 8/8/2018: 8 a.m. – 1 p.m., Alternative High School, 400 County Rd H
    • Lake Geneva
      • 7/11/2018: 10 a.m. – 3 p.m., Mercyhealth, N2950 State Road 67 and Hwy 50
      • 7/11/2018: 1 p.m. – 6 p.m., Badger High School, 220 E South St
      • 8/10/2018: 12 p.m. – 5 p.m., The Cove of Lake Geneva, 111 Center Street
    • Walworth: 7/27/2018: 12:30 p.m. – 5:30 p.m., Big Foot High School, 401 Devils Ln
    • Whitewater: 7/11/2018: 12 p.m. – 6 p.m., Cravath Lakefront Community Center, 341 S Fremont Street
  • Washington County
    • Hartford: 8/2/2018: 12 p.m. – 5 p.m., Hartford Recreation Center, 125 N Rural St
    • Jackson
      • 7/25/2018: 1 p.m. – 6 p.m., Still Waters Community United Methodist Church, 3617 Scenic Rd
      • 7/30/2018: 2 p.m. – 6 p.m., Jackson Community Center, N165 W20330 Hickory Ln
    • West Bend: 8/8/2018: 12 p.m. – 5 p.m., West Bend City Hall, 1115 S Main Street
  • Waukesha County
    • Brookfield
      • 7/10/2018: 9 a.m. – 2 p.m., Symmetry, 400 South Executive Drive
      • 7/20/2018: 8 a.m. – 12:30 p.m., The Corners of Brookfield, 270 Lord Street
      • 7/20/2018: 12:30 p.m. – 5 p.m., The Corners of Brookfield, 270 Lord Street
      • 8/8/2018: 1 p.m. – 6 p.m., St John Vianney Catholic Church, 1755 N Calhoun Rd
      • 8/9/2018: 1 p.m. – 6 p.m., Brookfield East High School, 3305 Lilly Rd
    • Butler: 8/3/2018: 9 a.m. – 1:30 p.m., Butler Public Library, 12808 W Hampton Ave
    • Delafield: 7/12/2018: 1 p.m. – 6 p.m., Delafield Presbyterian Church, 1851 Genesee Street
    • Hartland: 8/9/2018: 1 p.m. – 6 p.m., St. Charles Catholic Parish & School, 313 Circle Drive
    • Mukwonago: 7/23/2018: 9 a.m. – 2 p.m., Mukwonago Town Hall, W320 S8315 Beulah Road
    • Muskego: 7/17/2018: 10:30 a.m. – 3 p.m., Muskego Public Library, S73 W16663 Janesville Rd
    • New Berlin
      • 7/9/2018: 12 p.m. – 6 p.m., Cleveland Pub & Grill, 14000 W. Cleveland Avenue
      • 7/25/2018: 1 p.m. – 6 p.m., New Berlin Public Library, 15105 Library Ln
    • North Lake: 7/18/2018: 1 p.m. – 6 p.m., North Lake School, N75 W31283 Hwy VV
    • Oconomowoc
      • 7/31/2018: 1:30 p.m. – 5:30 p.m., YMCA at Pabst Farms, 1750 Valley Rd
      • 8/9/2018: 1 p.m. – 6 p.m., First Congregational United Church of Christ, 815 Concord Rd
    • Pewaukee
      • 7/12/2018: 12:30 p.m. – 6:30 p.m., Waukesha Blood Donation Center, 2220 Silvernail Rd
      • 7/13/2018: 9 a.m. – 2 p.m., Kirkland Crossings, 700 Quinlan Drive
      • 7/19/2018: 12:30 p.m. – 6:30 p.m., Waukesha Blood Donation Center, 2220 Silvernail Rd
      • 7/26/2018: 12:30 p.m. – 6:30 p.m., Waukesha Blood Donation Center, 2220 Silvernail Rd
      • 7/30/2018: 1 p.m. – 6 p.m., Church of the Resurrection, W287 N3700 North Shore Dr
      • 8/2/2018: 12:30 p.m. – 6:30 p.m., Waukesha Blood Donation Center, 2220 Silvernail Rd
      • 8/9/2018: 12:30 p.m. – 6:30 p.m., Waukesha Blood Donation Center, 2220 Silvernail Rd
    • Summit: 8/1/2018: 1 p.m. – 6 p.m., Summit Village Hall, 37100 Delafield Road
    • Waukesha
      • 7/18/2018: 1 p.m. – 6 p.m., Living Waters Ministry Center of Waukesha, 1425 Summit Ave
      • 7/30/2018: 1 p.m. – 6 p.m., Waukesha Town Hall, W250 S3567 Center Road