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Red Cross Calls For Blood Donations Amid Shortfall

blood donation
Senior Airman Shane Karp
U.S National Guard

The Red Cross is facing a blood shortage, and it’s urging Central Ohio residents to donate.

The holiday slowdown, winter weather and the prevalence of cold and flu symptoms make January a difficult month for blood donations, which causes the local supply to become depleted.

Rodney Wilson of the Red Cross says they aim for at least a five-day supply of all blood types, but they're currently short of that mark.

“Right now we have under a five-day supply of most of the blood types and under a three-day supply of type O blood,” Wilson says. “And type O blood is used most, it’s the universal type, so it can be given to patients regardless of their blood type.”

There are a number of blood drives scheduled around the Central Ohio region every day through February 15.

"Just around Central Ohio alone the Red Cross has about 20 blood drives a day,” Wilson explains. “So we have to collect about 550 blood donations every single day of the year to support 40 hospitals in Central Ohio. It's a big need so there's a lot of opportunities for people."

Potential donors can find more information about upcoming blood drives or make appointments on the Red Cross website.

Nick Evans was a reporter at WOSU's 89.7 NPR News. He spent four years in Tallahassee, Florida covering state government before joining the team at WOSU.