Updated 7/20/20

Following a difficult Fourth of July week for blood and platelet donations and ongoing challenges finding new blood donors, the American Red Cross now faces a blood shortage and has issued an emergency call for eligible individuals of all blood types to give now and prevent delays in medical care.

About 450 fewer blood drives were organized by businesses and other community groups which led to about 17,000 fewer blood donations than needed for patients causing the Red Cross to now have less than a three-day supply of most blood types available and less than a two day supply of type O blood for patients.

“Medical emergencies and critical treatments don’t stop for holiday celebrations. Patients depend on lifesaving blood transfusions every day,” said a spokesman for Red Cross Blood Services.

In June, the Red Cross launched the missing types campaign especially new donors and those who have not donated in the past years to give blood or platelets during the challenging summer months.

Despite an encouraging response to the campaign, blood donations still fell short of expectations in June, resulting in more than 24,000 fewer donations than needed, about 100 fewer in the Tennessee Valley Blood Services Region causing a significant draw down of the Red Cross blood supply.