American Red Cross announces critical blood supply need

Blood donations needed immediately

American Red Cross officials today announced plummeting blood supplies and a critical shortage Labor Day week. To avert a crisis, Red Cross is making an urgent appeal for local residents to call 1.800.GIVE.LIFE or log onto

and make an appointment to donate blood. Red Cross blood drive hours will be extended throughout Southern California for donor convenience.

“Every day we make triage decisions to meet local hospitals’ needs,” Cliff Numark, director of donor recruitment for American Red Cross Blood Services, Southern California Region, said. “We’ve taken several strong steps to avert this emergency appeal; however, when the blood supply becomes so severely affected, we have no choice but to alert the public.”

As of Sunday night, the Red Cross blood supply inventory for all of Southern California included just 24 units of type O-negative blood, 6 units of type B-negative blood, 34 units of A-negative blood and only 107 units of B-positive blood. If supplies are not replenished, the American Red Cross fears its shelves will lack the blood types most needed for treating trauma patients and newborns.

“All of the blood provided to the sick and injured in Southern California is provided by volunteer donors,” Numark said. “The only way to avert a critical blood shortage is for more people to volunteer to donate blood, and we desperately need this now.”

The Red Cross is offering everyone who presents to donate blood or platelets at a Red Cross blood drive in Los Angeles, Orange, San Diego, and Ventura counties a chance to enter a daily drawing to win a $100 gift card for gasoline. Entries will be accepted at all Red Cross blood drive locations, and will be limited to these Southern California counties. The promotion runs from August 25 though September 7, and one winner will be drawn each day of the promotion. Winners of the free gas drawing will be announced by September 15. Prizes are non-transferable and not redeemable for cash. American Red Cross employees are not eligible.

The American Red Cross urgently appeals to Southern California residents to donate blood. Giving blood is safe. It is simple. Any healthy person age 17 or older (age 16 if accompanied by a parent) and weighing at least 110 pounds may be eligible to donate blood.

All eligible donors are asked to schedule an appointment to donate blood by calling 1.800.GIVE.LIFE (1.800.448.3543) or by visiting

To organize a blood drive, call 1.800.491.2113. For Spanish, please call 1.866-POR.VIDA (1.866.767.8432) or visit