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INDIANAPOLIS — The American Red Cross is experiencing a severe blood shortage and donors are urgently needed.

The American Red Cross says the shortage is due to a rising number of trauma cases, organ transplants, and elective surgeries. These procedures deplete the nation’s blood inventory.

Donors of all blood types, especially Type O, are asked to make an appointment to donate blood as soon as possible.

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

“When seconds count in emergency trauma situations, it’s the blood already on the shelves that can make the difference in lifesaving care,” said Julie Brady, Regional Donor Services Executive, of the Indiana Region of the American Red Cross. “Please consider blood donation as a summer activity that can help save lives.”

The Red Cross says there is also a great hospital demand for blood as people who deferred care during the height of the pandemic present with more advanced disease progression, requiring increased blood transfusions.

Donors who give to the Red Cross now through June 30 will receive a $5 Gift Card via email.

In most cases, those who have received a COVID-19 vaccine can donate blood. However, knowing the name of the manufacturer of the vaccine they received is important in determining donation eligibility.

Upcoming Blood Donation Opportunities – Indianapolis

6/16/2021: 10 a.m. – 3 p.m., American Red Cross, 1510 North Meridian

6/20/2021: 9 a.m. – 2 p.m., Saint Simon the Apostle Catholic Church, 8155 Oaklandon Road

6/22/2021: 10 a.m. – 5 p.m., Delta Air Lines, 7800 Col. H. Weir Cook Memorial Drive

6/23/2021: 10 a.m. – 3 p.m., American Red Cross, 1510 North Meridian

6/24/2021: 11 a.m. – 4 p.m., Duke Realty, 8711 River Crossing Blvd.

6/24/2021: 2 p.m. – 7 p.m., North Willow Farms, 1635 Brewster Road

6/28/2021: 3 p.m. – 7 p.m., Marion County Fairgrounds, 7300 Troy Avenue

6/30/2021: 10 a.m. – 3 p.m., American Red Cross, 1510 North Meridian

6/30/2021: 10 a.m. – 4 p.m., IU Health Methodist Hospital, 1701 Senate Blvd.