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Red Cross Makes Call For Blood

The American Red Cross is in the middle of an emergency blood and platelet shortage that has led to the lowest post-summer level blood supply in at least six years.

The shortage has led to the Red Cross having less than a day’s supply of certain blood types in recent weeks, and they are now asking donors of all types, especially type O, to make an appointment to donate blood as soon as possible.

Although fall is around the time when blood supplies rebound from the typical summer shortages, an ongoing surge of COVID-19 cases across the United State have contributed to this low turnout. The Red Cross needs to collect an additional 10,000 blood products each week for the month of October to meet the needs of hospitals and patients.

The push for donations this month is also timely, as October is recognized as Breast Cancer Awareness Month. Those undergoing breast cancer treatment are very much in need of blood. The Red Cross states that patients with breast cancer, or any other cancer, may need blood products on a regular basis during chemotherapy, surgery or treatment, and that 25% of the blood supply is used by patients with cancer.

Because of this, the Red Cross is introducing a few additional incentives for those wishing to donate. Anyone who comes to donate in October will receive an email for a free Zaxby’s reward or a $5 e-gift card to a merchant they choose. All those who come until Oct. 31 will receive an additional $5 gift card on top of that.

The Red Cross encourages people wishing to donate to make an appointment at one of the donation places near them. People wishing to do so can use the Red Cross Blood Donor App, visit RedCrossBlood.org or call 1-800-Red Cross to make their appointment. Those attending their appointments should be wearing masks regardless of vaccination status, which is implemented to protect the health and safety of everyone in attendance.

Nearby sites for the Blood Drive include:

¯ Cattaraugus County — Gowanda, noon to 5 p.m. Oct. 27 in American Legion Post 409, 100 Legion Drive

¯ Chautauqua County — Clymer, 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Oct. 20 in Clymer Central School, 8672 East Main St.; Dunkirk, noon to 6 p.m. Oct. 18, Blessed Mary Angela Roman Catholic Parish, 324 Townsend St.; Jamestown, 1 to 6 p.m. Oct. 29, DoubleTree by Hilton Jamestown, 150 W. Fourth St.; Lakewood, 12:30 to 5:30 p.m. Oct. 28, Chautauqua Mall, 318 E Fairmount Ave.; Mayville 1 to 6 p.m. Oct. 28, Lakeside Park Community Center, 50 West Lake Road; Sheridan, 2 to 7 p.m. Oct. 27 Sheridan Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 6390, 2556 Route 20.

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