Red Cross issues urgent call for donors

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Vancouver — The American Red Cross is facing a looming blood shortage and has issued an urgent call for blood and platelet donors.

Nationwide, donations the last 11 weeks through the Red Cross are down about 8 percent, resulting in about 80,000 fewer donations than expected, according to the Red Cross.

The number of donors continues to decline, and the shortfall is significant enough the Red Cross could experience an emergency situation in the coming weeks.

Eligible donors with types O negative, B negative and A negative blood are especially needed at this time.

There is also an urgent need for platelet donations. Platelets — a key clotting component of blood often needed by cancer patients, burn victims and bone marrow recipients — must be transfused within five days of donation.

To schedule an appointment at the Red Cross Blood Donation Center, 5109 N.E. 82nd Ave., or find a nearby blood drive, visit www.redcrossblood.org or call 800-733-2767.