Red Cross issues urgent call for blood donors

An emergency blood shortage is prompting the American Red Cross to issue an urgent call for eligible donors of all blood types — especially type O — to give now and help save lives.

The Red Cross escalated its call for blood and platelet donors after a difficult Independence Day week for donations. More than 550 fewer blood drives were organized by businesses and other community groups last week than during a typical week as individuals across the country celebrated the holiday and enjoyed summer activities. This could equate to as many as 15,000 fewer donations than needed, causing donations to now be distributed to hospitals faster than they come in.

“Each and every day, individuals across the country depend on blood and platelet donations for lifesaving treatments and emergency care, so it’s critical that people donate now to meet these needs,” said Cliff Numark, senior vice president, Red Cross Blood Services. “Whether you’ve never donated or give a couple of times a year, you’re needed to give as soon as possible to help save patient lives. Yours may be the donation a patient is counting on.”

This need is especially critical for type O blood donors. Type O is the most in-demand blood type and often the first to be depleted from hospital shelves during a shortage. Type O negative is the universal blood type and what emergency room personnel reach for when there is no time to determine the blood type of patients in the most serious situations. Type O positive is the most common blood type and can be transfused to Rh-positive patients of any blood type.

To schedule an appointment to donate, use the free Red Cross Blood Donor App, visit or call 1-800-RED CROSS (1-800-733-2767). The Red Cross has added about 6,500 additional appointment slots at donation centers and community blood drives across the country over the next few weeks to accommodate more donors. Donation appointments and completion of a RapidPass online health history questionnaire are encouraged to help reduce the time it takes to donate.

Upcoming blood donation opportunities:

  • Bethel — July 30, 9 a.m.-2 p.m., Scalzo Group, 2 Stony Hill Road, Suite 101A

  • Bridgeport — July 9, 1-6:15 p.m., Burroughs Community Center, 2470 Fairfield Avenue

  • Brookfield — July 13, 1-6:15 p.m., Raymour & Flanigan, 14 Candlewood Lake Road; July 28, 8:30 a.m.-1:30 p.m., Brookfield Volunteer Fire Company, 92 Pocono Road

  • Danbury — July 18, 12:30-5:30 p.m., Danbury Hospital, 24 Hospital Ave; July 18, 7:30 a.m.-1 p.m., Danbury Hospital, 24 Hospital Ave.; July 31, 1:30-6:30 p.m., The Crowne Plaza, 18 Old Ridgebury Road

  • Darien— July 12, 1-6 p.m., Noroton Presbyterian Church, 2011 Post Road

  • Fairfield — July 10, 10:30 a.m.-4 p.m., Fairfield Police, 100 Reef Road; July 11, 11 a.m.-4 p.m., Gaelic American Club, 74 Beach Road; July 19, 1:30-7 p.m., St. Thomas Aquinas Parish Center, 1719 Post Road; July 26, 11 a.m.-4:30 p.m., Ludlowe Center for Health and Rehabilitation, 118 Jefferson Street

  • Greenwich — July 27, 9 a.m.-2 p.m., First Presbyterian Church, 1 West Putnam Ave; July 31, 8 a.m.-1 p.m., Greenwich Hospital, 5 Perryridge Road; July 9, 1:30-6:30 p.m., Temple Sholom, 300 East Putnam Avenue

  • Monroe — July 19, 1-6 p.m., Dunkin Donuts / Baskin Robbins, 135 Main Street

  • New Canaan — July 17, 1-6:30 p.m., Saint Mark's Church, 111 Oenoke Ridge Road

  • New Fairfield — July 17, 1:30-6:30 p.m., St. Edwards Catholic Church, 21 Brush Hill Road, Route 39

  • Norwalk — July 20, 1:30-6:30 p.m., Norwalk Hospital, Maple Street; July 27, 8 a.m.-1 p.m., Norwalk City Hall, East Avenue

  • Redding Center — July 24, 12:45-6 p.m., First Church of Christ, Congregational, 25 Cross Hwy, P.O Box 1055

  • Shelton — July 13, 8 a.m.-1:45 p.m., R.D. Scinto Towers, 2 Corporate Drive; July 27, 1-6 p.m., Shelton Community Center, 41 Church Street

  • Stamford — July 21, 8 a.m.-1 p.m., Tully Health Center, 32 Strawberry Hill Court

  • Stratford — July 25, 10 a.m.-3 p.m., Ryders Partners, LLC, 88 Ryders Lane, Suite 208

  • Trumbull — July 18, 1-6 p.m., Middlebrook Farms of Trumbull, 2750 Reservoir Avenue; July 26, 10 a.m.-3 p.m., St. Joseph’s Center, 6448 Main Street

  • Wilton — July 27, 1-6:30 p.m., Wilton Library, 137 Old Ridgefield Road; July 9, 1-6:15 p.m., Wilton Congregational Church, 70 Ridgefield Rd.