The American Red Cross currently has a critical need for blood and platelet donors of all blood types – especially type O – to make an appointment now to give and help replenish the blood supply after the holiday weeks.

Right now, the Red Cross has less than a three-day supply of type O blood.

The American Red Cross Bloodmobile is scheduled to be in Redwood Falls Jan. 20-21 at the Redwood Area Community Center from 12:30-6:30 p.m. each of the two days.

According to Heather Smith, Redwood Falls Bloodmobile coordinator, they will also be collecting food for the food shelf to replenish its shelves after the holiday rush. So the public is encouraged to bring any non-perishable items from their pantry they would like to share.

During the weeks of Christmas and the new year, about 500 fewer blood drives were hosted by volunteer sponsor groups than required to meet patient needs. Many groups postpone blood drives during the winter holidays when travel and holiday activities may make it challenging for many donors to give.

In fact, AAA estimated that a record 115.6 million Americans traveled during the holiday period of Dec. 21 through Jan. 1.

“Lifesaving medical treatments and emergencies never take a holiday,” said Paul Sullivan, senior vice-president, Red Cross Biomedical Services. “Declines in donations can affect patient care. That’s why the Red Cross is encouraging eligible donors to make an appointment to give now and help those sidelined by illness and trauma.”

Donors are urged to make an appointment to give now at RedCrossBlood.org, calling 1-800-RED CROSS (1-800-733-2767).

- Photo courtesy of the American Red Cross Web site