WILKES BARRE — While thousands of people from across the country responded to the emergency request for blood and platelet donations issued by the American Red Cross in early July, a critical blood shortage remains. The Red Cross urges eligible donors to give now to help ensure blood is available throughout the rest of the summer to meet patient needs.
Two Red Cross blood drives are currently scheduled for the Abington area: the first for 1 to 6 p.m. Friday, July 29 at the Clarks Summit United Methodist Church, 1310 Morgan Hwy., and the second for 1 to 6 p.m. Aug. 8 at Saint Patrick’s Catholic Church, 205 Main St., Nicholson.
At times, blood and platelets are being distributed to hospitals faster than donations are coming in, which impacts the ability to rebuild the blood supply. As of Monday, July 25, the Red Cross has less than a five-day blood supply on hand. The organization strives to have a five-day supply at all times to meet the needs of patients every day and be prepared for emergencies that may require significant volumes of donated blood products.
Blood and platelets are needed for many different reasons. Accident and burn victims, heart surgery patients, organ transplant patients, and those receiving treatment for leukemia, cancer or sickle cell disease may all need blood.
Donors of all blood types are urgently needed to help restock the shelves. The Red Cross is thanking those who come in to donate blood or platelets between July 25 and Aug. 31 by emailing them a $5 Amazon.com gift card claim code.
To schedule an appointment to donate, use the free Blood Donor App, visit redcrossblood.org or call 1-800-733-2767. Donation appointments and completion of a RapidPass online health history questionnaire are encouraged to help reduce wait times.