Red Cross holding blood drive to combat nationwide shortage

Red Cross holding blood drive to combat nationwide shortage

GULFPORT, MS (WLOX) - America is currently a under a blood shortage, taking the country by storm.

"We're in a critical shortage time frame. We know it comes around twice a year, but we know that it's something that we try to avoid," said South Mississippi Red Cross donor recruiter, Denise Smith.

The critical time frame, Smith says, places many on the brink of death every day.

"We are in a time frame right now where we're under appeal, which means there is a large shortage of blood across the United States and so we're having as many blood drives, trying to collect as much blood as we can," said Smith.

A community blood drive at the South Mississippi Chapter of The Red Cross on Pass Road aims to encourage more people in to donate.

"There's always a shortage of blood in the summer, a lot more activity and people doing things, but also they're on vacation this time of year, going back to school. So, the donations don't grow with the need," said South Mississippi Red Cross Executive Director, John McFarland.

However, the need continues to grow due to parts of the country restricting blood donations due to the possible spread of the Zika Virus.

"When you pair that with all of the horrific events that have happened, especially in recent months with all of the things in Texas, Louisiana and Florida, that did add to that need," said Smith.

The South Mississippi Red Cross will be holding a Katrina Memorial Blood Drive on both August 28 and 29 at Edgewater Mall.

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