American Red Cross hosts blood drives in Gulfport

Published: Oct. 12, 2021 at 6:13 PM CDT
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GULFPORT, Miss. (WLOX) - The American Red Cross is urging everyone who can to give blood as the need for donations is critical.

The organization said it is entering its third week of emergency blood and platelet shortage.

Officials say it has caused the blood supply to drop to the lowest post-summer levels they’ve seen in at least six years.

They’re asking donors of all blood types, especially type O, to book an appointment as soon as possible.

They say fall is typically a time when the blood supply rebounds from summer blood shortages, but the surge in COVID-19 cases has contributed to the lowest donor turnout of the year.

“We have people that can’t get minor surgery done because the blood isn’t there,” team member Linda Goforth said. “We had a case just this morning where a woman is donating a directed donation for a friend of her daughter who has cancer, and they went to the hospital last week, and the platelets were not there. They simply did not have the platelets. So that’s why she was here today. And that’s not the first case we’ve had where it is just not available.”

To shore up inventory, the Red Cross must collect 10,000 additional blood products each week this month to meet the demand.

Upcoming blood drives will be held Oct. 14 at Island View Casino in Gulfport from 9 a.m. - 2 p.m. in the northern parking lot and on Oct. 15 at the Pascagoula Senior Center from noon until 5 p.m.

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