Red Cross urges donations during 3rd week of blood shortage

American Red Cross’s Lewis and Clark blood service region pack up after spending the day collecting blood donations at Blessed Sacrament Catholic Church in Ontario in 2016. The entity is holding three local blood drives throughout the month of October.

WESTERN TREASURE VALLEY — The American Red Cross continues to experience an emergency blood shortage that has caused the blood supply to drop to the lowest post-summer level in at least six years.

With less than a day’s supply of certain blood types in recent weeks, the Red Cross asks donors of all blood types — especially type O — to make an appointment to give blood as soon as possible to ensure patients can receive the lifesaving transfusions they rely on.

Fall is typically a time when the blood supply rebounds from summer blood shortages, but a surge in COVID-19 cases across the U.S. due to the delta variant has contributed to the lowest donor turnout of the year. To shore up inventory, the Red Cross must collect 10,000 additional blood products each week this month to meet hospital and patient needs.

Blood drives in the Western Treasure Valley this month include one in Payette on Oct. 19, in Ontario on Oct. 25 and in Nyssa on Oct. 26.

Donors are asked to make an appointment

All those who 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. Plus, all those who donate between Oct. 11-31 will receive a bonus $5 e-gift card to a merchant of their choice.

Blood donations help those with breast cancer

During Breast Cancer Awareness Month in October, the Red Cross is reminding donors of the importance of blood to those undergoing treatment. According to the National Cancer Institute, roughly 1.9 million people are expected to be diagnosed with cancer in the U.S. this year, and more than 281,000 of those individuals will have breast cancer.

Patients with breast cancer and other cancers may need blood products on a regular basis during chemotherapy, surgery or treatment for complications. In fact, nearly 25% of the blood supply is used by cancer patients.

Blood drive safety

People across the country depend on the kindness of blood donors.

Each Red Cross blood drive and donation center follows the highest standards of safety and infection control, 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.

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