Local Blood Shortage Affects National Supply

Cleveland, OH -  The Northern Ohio Region of the American Red Cross continues to struggle as local blood supplies remain at drastically low levels.

The region is operating under a "Transfuse Only" directive for type O negative blood and a "Minimum Need" directive for types O positive and A negative. These directives severely limit the ability of the Red Cross to meet the needs of 57 local hospitals. There is roughly a one day supply of A positive and B negative blood and just over a two day supply of AB negative.

The American Red Cross is also facing a blood shortage on a national level as supplies for O negative and O positive drop to critically low levels. These shortages mean serious patient needs may not be met. There is no substitute for blood and healthy donors are the only way to meet the ongoing need for blood products.

Nearly five million people receive blood transfusions every year, yet only 5 percent of the eligible population donates blood. If you have never donated before, now is the time to try. Please help us get blood to people who desperately need it. To donate blood you must be at least 17 years old, weigh at least 110 pounds, be in general good health and provide a valid photo ID upon donation. You may safely give blood every 56 days.

For additional information or to find a blood or platelet donation site near you, please call 1-800-GIVE-LIFE (1.800.448.3543) or visit RedCrossDonor.org.