Three blood drives in three days in Kewaunee County will emphasize the American Red Cross’ concern about what it describes as a critical shortage of type O blood, and the organization urges eligible donors to give now to help patients facing trauma and other life-threatening situations.

Blood drives are scheduled for 1-6 p.m. Monday (May 20) at St. John Lutheran Church, 700 Heritage Road, Luxemburg; 1:15-6 p.m. Tuesday (May 21) at Algoma Youth Club, 620 Lake St., Algoma; and noon-5 p.m. Wednesday (May 22) at St. Louis School Hall, N8710 County Line Road, Dyckesville.

In addition, the Red Cross is planning a blood drive from 11 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. June 5 at Immanuel Lutheran Church, 1000 Wisconsin Ave., Kewaunee.

As a thank-you for helping replenish the blood supply, all donors who come to give blood or platelets now through June 10 will receive a $5 Amazon.com Gift Card via email.

Right now, the Red Cross says it has less than a two-day supply of type O blood available for emergency rooms. That means just six units of type O blood are available for every 100,000 people, but at least 14 are needed every day. While just 7% of the U.S. population has type O negative blood, it can be transfused to patients with any blood type and is what hospital staff reach for during emergencies when there isn’t time to determine a patient’s blood type. Type O positive blood is the most transfused blood type and is also critical in trauma situations.

“All blood types are urgently needed, but we’re facing a critical shortage of type O blood – the blood group most needed by hospitals,” said Cliff Numark, senior vice president, Red Cross Blood Services. “Because it’s vitally important for hospitals to have type O blood available when every second counts, type O donors are urged to donate now and make a point to donate often.”

Donors of all blood types, especially type O, are urged to urged to make an appointment to donate using the Blood Donor App, at RedCrossBlood.org or by calling 1-800-RED CROSS (1-800-733-2767). Eligible donors with type O blood are encouraged to make a whole blood or Power Red donation, where available. During a Power Red donation, donors give a concentrated dose of red blood cells during a single donation, allowing them to maximize their impact.

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