American Red Cross

The American Red Cross in Western New York is experiencing a severe blood shortage as the number of trauma cases, organ transplants and elective surgeries rise — and deplete the nation’s blood inventory.

Donors of all blood types — especially type O and those giving platelets — are urged to make an appointment to give as soon as possible to prevent further impact to patients.

Red Cross officials say, right now, hospitals are responding to an atypically high number of traumas and emergency room visits, as well as overdoses and resulting transplants. In comparison to 2019, the Red Cross has seen demand from trauma centers climb by 10% in 2021 — more than five times the growth of other facilities that provide blood transfusions.

Schedule an appointment to give blood now by using the Red Cross Blood Donor App, visiting, calling (800) 733-2767 or enabling the Blood Donor Skill on any Alexa Echo device.

Meanwhile, Saturday is World Sickle Cell Day, an important day for the more than 100,000 individuals with sickle cell disease in the U.S. Most people with this disease are of African descent and will require regular blood transfusions to help manage their disease. Some individuals with sickle cell disease may require as many as 100 units of blood per year.

The Red Cross is screening all blood, platelet and plasma donations from self-identified African American donors for the sickle cell trait. This additional screening will provide Black donors with an additional health insight and help the Red Cross identify compatible blood types more quickly to help patients with sickle cell disease.

Upcoming blood donation opportunities through June:

Cattaraugus County

Allegany: Today, noon to 5:30 p.m., Fireman’s Community Center, 188 W Main St.

Olean: June 24, from 1:30 to 6:30 p.m., Trinity UMC-Olean, 131 N. 9th St.

Little Valley: June 25, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., LVCS Alumni In Memory, 207 Rock City St.

Gowanda: June 30, from noon to 5 p.m., American Legion Post 409, 100 Legion Drive.

Allegany County

Alfred: June 18, from noon to 4:30 p.m., St. Jude’s Chapel, 1154 Lower College Drive.

Wellsville: June 24, from 2 to 7 p.m., Wellsville Fire Department, 40 S. Main St.

Little Genesee: June 29, from 1 to 6 p.m., Faith Bible Church, 8137 Main St.

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