Red Cross: Blood needed urgently

Demand for blood is up 30% as hospitals resume surgeries.

The American Red Cross says it urgently needs blood donations to prevent another blood shortage as surgeries and other treatments accelerate after the coronavirus pandemic forced them to pause earlier this spring.

Healthy individuals who are feeling well are asked to make an appointment to donate in the weeks and months ahead by downloading the free Red Cross Blood Donor App, visiting, calling 1-800-RED CROSS (1-800-733-2767) or enabling the Blood Donor Skill on any Alexa Echo device.

In recent weeks, hospital demand for blood products has grown by 30% after sharply declining in early April amid this rapidly changing and complex public health crisis, the organization said. At the same time, blood drives continue to be canceled as many businesses and community organizations remain closed.

Those who give through May 31 will receive a special Red Cross T-shirt by mail, while supplies last, and those who give June 1-30 will receive a $5 gift card via email.

Red blood cells must be transfused within 42 days of donation and platelets within just five days, so they must constantly be replenished.


Red Cross blood drives use temperature checks, social distancing and face coverings to ensure the health of donors and staff.

Upcoming blood donation opportunities in Douglas County:

  • Monday, June 15, 12-6 p.m., Cornerstone Church, 202 7th Ave. E. in Alexandria.
  • Monday, June 15, 12-6 p.m., VFW 7902, 701 E. 8th Ave. in Osakis.
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