American Red Cross issues urgent call for blood donations

Joanne Kraus has been donating to the American Red Cross for more than four decades. (WNWO)

TOLEDO, Ohio (WNWO) - The Red Cross could really use your help. Blood donations are greatly needed.

Last week alone, there were more than 500 drives that were not held.

Summer months typically create a lull, because of vacations and people traveling. With the Fourth of July falling mid-week, it completely slowed down those weekly donations.

“I started out donating whole blood, then I got into platelets," said Joanne Kraus, long-time donor. "I understand you can help more people with a platelet donation.”

For more than 45 years, Joanne Kraus has been donating to The Red Cross.

“I do it once a month,” said Kraus.

The American Red Cross has issued an urgent call for blood donations, because of an emergency blood shortage.

“You never want to get into a blood shortage,” said Rachel Hepner-Zawodny, Executive Director of the Northwest Ohio Red Cross.

Donations are extremely down.

“We’re about 15,000 units short of where we typically are at this time of year,” said Hepner-Zawodny.

It’s not uncommon to see a shortage this time of year.

“We can’t get the support of the college and high school drives that we are used to, students aren’t in session,” said Hepner-Zawodny.

Because the organization works off a national registry, this impacts every community.

“If somebody needs blood somewhere else, there is a national registry where that blood can be sourced and sent,” said Hepner-Zawodny.

The only way to get passed something like this... is to have more people like Kraus.

“It definitely makes you feel good to help so many people,” said Kraus.

Everyone is different, but things like height, weight, and certain conditions may make you unable to give blood. For more information, click here.

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