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Blood Supply Hitting "Severe" Low, Say Red Cross Officials

Aberdeen Proving Ground

The American Red Cross says it’s dealing with a severe blood shortage, in Oregon and the nation as a whole.  The crisis comes ahead of winter, which is a high-need time for blood.

Across the U.S, chapters are urging people to come in and give a pint. Natividad Lewis is with the American Red Cross Cascades Region.  She says in September and October, there were 21,000 fewer donations of blood and platelets.

Credit Brian Bull / KLCC

“Fewer blood drives, coupled with the widespread cancellation of scheduled drives as a result of the Hurricanes Michael and Florence, were contributing factors.”

Lewis says the blood shortage hits just as winter nears, which is a difficult time.

“Donors aren’t available," she tells KLCC.  "They’re traveling, they’re getting involved with holiday activities.  Weather cancellations can affect drives and blood donation counts.  And seasonal illnesses.”

Lewis says people can enter their zip code on the Red Cross’ website to find the nearest chapter or blood drive. They also have an app that can synch up a user’s calendar with scheduled blood drives in their area.

Copyright 2018, KLCC.

Brian Bull joined the KLCC News Team in June 2016. In his 25+ years as a public media journalist, he's worked at NPR, Twin Cities Public Television, South Dakota Public Broadcasting, Wisconsin Public Radio, and ideastream in Cleveland. His reporting has netted dozens of accolades, including four national Edward R. Murrow Awards (22 regional), the Ohio Associated Press' Best Reporter Award, Best Radio Reporter from the Native American Journalists Association, and the PRNDI/NEFE Award for Excellence in Consumer Finance Reporting.
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