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American Red Cross issues critical need for blood donations

Posted at 6:42 PM, Jan 08, 2020
and last updated 2020-01-08 19:42:48-05

OMAHA, Neb. (KMTV) — January is celebrated as national blood donor month and this month the American Red Cross is looking for blood donations.

The Red Cross said they're facing a critical need for blood to avoid a shortage. Currently 38-percent of Americans are eligible to give blood but only three-percent give.

The organization said during the holiday season they normally see a decrease in the amount of blood donors and blood drives at workplaces.

"It's important to give because every two seconds in the United States somebody is in need of a blood transfusion which is a lot and blood can only come from a blood donor," said Samantha Pollard, a communications manager with the Red Cross in Nebraska. "It's not something that can be manufactured in a laboratory and it has to come from somebody who's given their time to do it. It's pretty cyclical. We see a shortage in the summer normally and this time of year."

Platelets are good for seven days and red blood is good for 42 days so the Red Cross is always in need for more donors.

"It's very important," Pollard said. "You're literally saving someone's life when they donate blood."

If you don't know your blood type the Red Cross will help you find out what it is. The organization is always looking for type O-positive and O-negative donors but any blood type is welcome.

The Red Cross is also running a special promotion where those who donate blood or platelets between January 1st and January 19th are entered for a chance to win a trip all-expense paid trip to Super Bowl LIV in Miami for two people.