Severe Blood Shortage: Red Cross Issues Immediate Call for Blood and Platelet Donations

Severe Blood Shortage: Red Cross Issues Immediate Call for Blood and Platelet Donations

CHESTER COUNTY, PA — The American Red Cross is facing a severe blood shortage and urgently needs blood and platelet donors to give now to avoid delays in lifesaving medical care for patients. Volunteer blood drive hosts are also critically needed to prevent the shortage from worsening this winter.

During September and October, the Red Cross collected over 21,000 fewer blood and platelet donations than what hospitals needed. Blood donors of all blood types, especially type O, and platelet donors are urged to make an appointment to donate at or by calling 1-800-RED CROSS (1-800-733-2767).

Fewer blood drives in September and October coupled with hurricanes Michael and Florence, which caused thousands of blood and platelet donations to go uncollected, were key contributing factors to the current blood shortage.

“This time of year, as many give thanks for family, friends and good health, it’s important to remember that patients across the country cannot survive without your generosity,” said Cliff Numark, senior vice president, Red Cross Biomedical Services. “From traumas to ongoing cancer treatments, the need for blood doesn’t stop for the holidays. People can give back – and help those in need – by making a lifesaving blood or platelet donation now and hosting a blood drive in the weeks to come.”

An additional 4,300 blood drives nationally – and approximately 150 in the Penn Jersey Blood Services Region – are needed in December, January and February to help stop the shortage from continuing throughout winter. Donations often decline during the winter holidays when many groups postpone blood drives while regular donors are busy with holiday activities and travel. Severe winter weather may also cause blood drive cancellations contributing to fewer donations than needed.

To encourage donations around the Thanksgiving holiday, those who come to donate blood or platelets with the Red Cross Nov. 21-24 will receive a long-sleeved Red Cross T-shirt, while supplies last.

How to help

Eligible donors can find a blood or platelet donation opportunity and schedule an appointment to donate by using the free Blood Donor App, visiting or calling 1-800-RED CROSS (1-800-733-2767). Donation appointments and completion of a RapidPass, are encouraged to help speed up the donation process. RapidPass lets donors complete the pre-donation reading and answer the health history questionnaire online, on the day of their donation, from the convenience of a mobile device or computer, or through the Blood Donor App.

Those interested in hosting a blood drive can learn more and sign up to sponsor a drive this winter, by visiting

Upcoming blood donation opportunities in Chester County

American Red Cross Blood Donation Center
West Chester Blood Donation Center
523 East Gay St., West Chester
Monday – Thursday: 11:45 a.m. – 7:45 p.m. (whole blood)
Friday – Sunday: 7:15 a.m. – 3 p.m. (whole blood & platelet pheresis)

11/18/2018: 8:30 a.m. – 1:30 p.m., St. Monica’s Roman Catholic Church, 63 Main Ave.
12/10/2018: 9 a.m. – 2 p.m., Westlakes, 1205 Westlakes Drive

12/14/2018: 11 a.m. – 4 p.m., St. John’s Presbyterian Church, 217 Berkley Road
12/14/2018: 2:30 p.m. – 7:30 p.m., Surrey Services, 60 Surrey Way

11/23/2018: 1 p.m. – 6 p.m., St. Joseph’s School, 340 Manor Ave.
12/14/2018: 2 p.m. – 7 p.m., Central Presbyterian Church, 100 W. Uwchlan Ave.

12/15/2018: 8 a.m. – 1 p.m., Brick Lane Community Church, 52 S. Brick Lane

11/25/2018: 8 a.m. – 1 p.m., Clarion at Exton, 815 N. Pottstown Pike
12/14/2018: 10:30 a.m. – 3:30 p.m., YMCA Exton, 100 Devon Drive

Kennett Square
12/11/2018: 2 p.m. – 7 p.m., Episcopal Church of the Advent, 401 N. Union St.

12/15/2018: 10 a.m. – 3 p.m., St. Basil’s Roman Catholic Church, 2300 Kimberton Road

Lincoln University
11/26/2018: 8 a.m. – 1 p.m., Lincoln University, Student Union Building, 1570 Baltimore Pike

11/20/2018: 10 a.m. – 3 p.m., Workspace Property Trust, 5 Great Valley Parkway
12/14/2018: 11 a.m. – 4 p.m., Bryn Mawr Rehabilitation Hospital, 414 Paoli Pike

11/28/2018: 2 p.m. – 7 p.m., Oxford Presbyterian Church, 6 Pine St.

11/20/2018: 10 a.m. – 3 p.m., Barkley Elementary School, 320 Second Ave.
11/21/2018: 8 a.m. – 1 p.m., Manavon Elementary School, 2 Phantom Way
12/1/2018: 10:30 a.m. – 3:30 p.m., Only Results Fitness, 272 Schuylkill Road
12/2/2018: 8:30 a.m. – 1:30 p.m., Congregation B’nai Jacob, 101 Manovan St.

11/27/2018: 2 p.m. – 7 p.m., Norco Fire Company, 144 W. Schuylkill Road

West Chester
11/15/2018: 2 p.m. – 7 p.m., Church of the Holy Trinity, 212 S. High St.
12/1/2018: 8 a.m. – 1 p.m., St. Paul’s Baptist Church, 1 Hagerty Blvd.

West Grove
12/3/2018: 8:30 a.m. – 1:30 p.m., Technical College High School, 280 Pennocks Bridge Road

About the American Red Cross:
The American Red Cross shelters, feeds and provides emotional support to victims of disasters; supplies about 40 percent of the nation’s blood; teaches skills that save lives; provides international humanitarian aid; and supports military members and their families. The Red Cross is a not-for-profit organization that depends on volunteers and the generosity of the American public to perform its mission. For more information, please visit or, or visit us on Twitter at @RedCross.

For the latest news on everything happening in Chester County and the surrounding area, be sure to follow MyChesCo on Google News and Microsoft Start.

This article is intended for informational, entertainment or educational purposes only and should not be construed as advice, guidance or counsel. It is provided without warranty of any kind.