Red Cross urges donors to give blood as stockpiles begin to run low

RALEIGH, N.C. (WTVD) -- If you've been thinking about it and just putting it off, now is the time to give blood. Red Cross officials said they are experiencing a shortage emergency.

"It's a concern. But I also believe the American people tend to rally when they hear this," regional Red Cross CEO Barry Porter said.

The Red Cross needs to collect 10,000 additional blood products every single week for the next month to keep up with hospital and patient needs.

CLICK HERE: To find a time and location where you can give blood

"Every two seconds somebody gets a blood transfusion. And so it's very important that it be an ongoing process. So when you see it drop just a little bit, then you see this crisis happening," Porter said.

The national blood inventory is the lowest it's been at this time of year since 2015. That's why they're offering incentives for donors. If you donate between now and the end of the month, you'll get a free t-shirt and a coupon for a free haircut at Sports Clips. And if you donate in October you'll get a few sandwich at Zaxby's or a $5 gift card of your choice.

"It's a convenience issue. You've got to get in the car, you've got to drive, you've got to take an hour two hours out of your day. So we try to give some recognition," Porter said.

As COVID-19 cases went up in August, donor participation fell 10 percent. So there is a need for all blood types but especially Type O.

"It's an hour, hour and a half out of your day. But it may literally be the gift of another birthday or anniversary for the patient who is receiving your donation," Porter said.
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