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American Red Cross announces critical blood shortage

What happened that's putting patients at risk, how you can help

ROANOKE, Va. – There is a critical blood shortage in the U.S., and the American Red Cross is asking people to donate blood and platelets.

Barbara Robertson is from Roanoke and donates blood regularly, but it's been a little while since her last time.

"They said they needed platelets, so I said, 'OK, I'll give it a try,'" Roberston said.

The Red Cross said that donations drop during the summer. While families were enjoying time off to celebrate July 4, blood donation centers were emptier than usual. The Roanoke center usually gets about 40 platelet donors on Sundays. However, this past Sunday, there were only 18.

"There are fewer blood drives scheduled and more people on vacation and really not thinking about giving blood at that time," said Jackie Grant, the executive director of the American Red Cross in Roanoke.

Last week, Grant said there were about 450 fewer blood drives than expected across the country. Now, there's less than a three-day supply for most blood types. The Red Cross needs a five-day supply.

"They're going off the shelves quicker than blood donations are coming in," Grant said.

If there's not enough blood, it could be life or death.

"It can be incredibly dangerous for, for surgeries and, and traumatic injuries and traumas that are coming in if that blood is not available on the shelves when doctors or nurses need it," Grant said.

The Red Cross needs blood and platelet donors of all types, especially O. That's why Nathip "Khwan" Khanhansuk decided to give at the Roanoke center Tuesday afternoon.

"You come with an open heart, willing to help," Khanhansuk said.

Blood drives are happening all month long across southwest Virginia to restock the shelves. It's free to save a life. All you need to do is roll up your sleeve and lend an elbow.

"My mother worked here. I volunteered here years ago. My son volunteered here, and [I] will always just come back," Roberston said. "If I can save a life today, I'm going for it."

Here is a full list of local blood drive locations and times:

Amherst County

Madison Heights

7/23/2019: 1 p.m. - 5 p.m., Randolph Mem Baptist Church, 4246 South Amherst Highway

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Bedford County

Forest

7/16/2019: 12 p.m. - 6 p.m., Forest Presbyterian Church, 1226 Two Church Lane

7/22/2019: 1 p.m. - 6 p.m., Freedom Baptist Church, 1595 Turkey Foot Road

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Bland County

Bastian

7/11/2019: 2 p.m. - 6 p.m., Bastian Union Church, 29 Bears Trail

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Botetourt County

Daleville

7/13/2019: 10 a.m. - 2 p.m., St Marks UMC, 19 Cedar Ridge Drive

 

Fincastle

7/20/2019: 8 a.m. - 12 p.m., Church of Transfiguration, 7624 Roanoke Rd.

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Campbell County

Altavista

7/10/2019: 2 p.m. - 6 p.m., Autumn Care of Altavista, 1317 Lola Ave

7/17/2019: 8 a.m. - 12 p.m., BGF, 401 Amherst Ave.

 

Gladys

7/27/2019: 9 a.m. - 1 p.m., Diamond Hill Presbyterian Church, 1090 Mollies Creek Rd

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Carroll County

Hillsville

7/29/2019: 12 p.m. - 4 p.m., Victory Way Baptist Church, 500 S. Main St.

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Floyd County

Floyd

7/19/2019: 12 p.m. - 3 p.m., Montgomery Floyd Regional Library Floyd, Jessie Peterman Library, 321 W Main St

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Franklin County

Boones Mill

7/26/2019: 1 p.m. - 6 p.m., Boones Mill Christian Church, 7950 Grassy Hill Drive

 

Rocky Mount

7/24/2019: 11 a.m. - 5 p.m., Carilion Franklin Mem Hosp, 180 Floyd Ave.

7/24/2019: 12 p.m. - 5 p.m., Waidsboro Ruritans Building, 370 Ruritan Road

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Giles County

Pearisburg

7/16/2019: 10 a.m. - 3 p.m., Carilion Giles Community Hospital, 159 Hartley Way

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Grayson County

Fries

7/30/2019: 1 p.m. - 6 p.m., Grace Baptist Church, 76 Gilley Drive

 

Independence

7/26/2019: 12 p.m. - 5 p.m., Independence VFW Bldg, 72 Klondike Rd.

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Halifax County

South Boston

7/26/2019: 2 p.m. - 6 p.m., American Legion Post  8, 1710 Jeffress Boulevard

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Montgomery County

Blacksburg:

Blacksburg Donation Center hours of operation: Mon (7:30am-3pm), Tues (7:30am-3pm), Wed (7:30am-3pm), Fri (7:30am-1pm), Sat (7:30am-1pm), Sun (7:30am-1pm)

 

7/17/2019: 11 a.m. - 3 p.m., Montgomery-Floyd Regional Library, 200 Miller Street

Street

7/25/2019: 10 a.m. - 2 p.m., Virginia Tech Transportation Institute, 3500 Transportation Research Plaza

7/25/2019: 11 a.m. - 4 p.m., Virginia Tech Squires Student Center Plaza, 290 College Ave, Plaza

7/27/2019: 11 a.m. - 4 p.m., Blacksburg Christian Church, 240 Watson Ave

7/29/2019: 8 a.m. - 12 p.m., Inn at Virginia Tech, 901 Prices Fork Road

 

Christiansburg:

7/15/2019: 9 a.m. - 1 p.m., Christiansburg Rec Ctr, 1600 North Franklin St.

7/16/2019: 10 a.m. - 2 p.m., Christiansburg Moose Ldg, 255 Ridinger St.

7/23/2019: 1 p.m. - 5 p.m., AT&T Authorized Retailer, 30 Spradlin Farm Dr

7/24/2019: 10 a.m. - 2 p.m., Montgomery County Government Center, 755 Roanoke St

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Pittsylvania County

Chatham

7/18/2019: 2 p.m. - 6 p.m., Watson Mem United Meth Ch, 136 N. Main St.

 

Gretna

7/25/2019: 2 p.m. - 6 p.m., Centra Health Medical Center, 291 McBride Lane

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Pulaski County

Dublin

7/15/2019: 12 p.m. - 6 p.m., Dublin Lions Club Bldg, 1036 Bagging Plant Rd

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Roanoke

Catawba

7/11/2019: 11 a.m. - 3 p.m., Catawba Hospital, 5525 Catawba Hospital Drive

 

Roanoke

7/11/2019: 9 a.m. - 2 p.m., Carilion Wellness Botetourt, 105 Summerfield Court

7/16/2019: 2 p.m. - 7 p.m., Bonsack Baptist Church, 4845 Cloverdale Road

7/17/2019: 1 p.m. - 6 p.m., Cave Spring United Meth Ch, 4505 Hazel Drive

7/23/2019: 12 p.m. - 5 p.m., Our Lady of Nazareth Church, 2505 Electric Rd. SW

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Roanoke City

Roanoke Blood Donation Center hours of operation: Mon (11:30am-7:45pm), Tues (11:30am-7:45pm), Wed (10:30am-6:45pm), Thur (8:00am-4:15pm), Fri (7:30am-3:45pm), Sat (7:30am-3:45pm), Sun (7:30am-3:45pm)

 

7/16/2019: 12 p.m. - 5 p.m., Orvis Warehouse, 1711 Blue Hills Drive

7/25/2019: 7 a.m. - 11 a.m., Water Authority Field Operations Facility, 3322 Hollins Road

7/29/2019: 1 p.m. - 5 p.m., ECPI University, 5234 Airport Rd.

7/30/2019: 11 a.m. - 3 p.m., Express Family Care, 3960 Valley Gateway #1A

7/30/2019: 1 p.m. - 5:30 p.m., Raleigh Court Pres Church, 1837 Grandin Road SW

7/31/2019: 10 a.m. - 2 p.m., Roanoke City Employees, 1802 Courtland Rd N E

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Wythe County

Wytheville

7/31/2019: 12 p.m. - 6 p.m., Bolling Wilson Hotel, 170 E. Main Street


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