USA TODAY

Red Cross Desperate For Blood Donations

KCBS Radio Afternoon News
January 17, 2019 - 2:51 pm
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The American Red Cross has put out an emergency call for blood donors, after a shortfall over the winter holidays left the organization in immediate need for blood and platelet donations.

Red Cross Northern California collected 27,000 fewer donations than needed during the Christmas and New Years, according to Michael Miumi, a donor recruitment account manager for the organization. 

“We are packaging up blood products and distributing them to hospitals quicker than we’re able to collect them,” he said to KCBS Radio.

As of Thursday, the Red Cross had less than a three-day supply of most blood types on hand. The organization ideally carries a five-day supply to be able to respond to emergencies and the daily needs of hospitals.

Miumi said that O negative and platelet donations are the most needed. Platelet donations take longer than a normal blood donation, and the appointments can last about two hours.

If you would like to donate the Red Cross wants you to go to their website, Redcrossblood.org, and make an appointment at a local blood drive.

Not everyone is eligible to donate blood, however. Federal requirements forbid any men who have had sex with other men in the last 12 months from donating, a rule that some have argued is an outdated artifact of homophobia and bias.

Written by Jordan Bowen.