Red Cross faces emergency blood shortage

Red Cross faces emergency blood shortage

JONESBORO, AR (KAIT) - The American Red Cross is facing an emergency blood shortage.

Crystal Hatcher with the American Red Cross said every two seconds someone needs blood.

"Following the fourth of July week, the American Red Cross is now facing an emergency blood shortage," Hatcher said. "We've issued an urgent call to all individuals of all blood types to help give."

The annual Battle of the Badges blood drive took place at St. Bernards Auditorium on Wednesday.

Hatcher said their ability to help others depends on donations.

"We need blood," Hatcher said. "Without blood, we can't save lives and our mission is to save as many lives as possible."

Hatcher said in the past three years they've lost around 80,000 units due to lower donations and people not hosting blood drives.

Jonesboro resident Randy Johnson was among those who stepped up to be a donor. He said he's always looking for a way to help someone in need.

"I'm relatively healthy and I have plenty of blood," Johnson said. "I can give blood and all it requires is that you give a little bit and it takes a little bit of time and it doesn't cost anything. It's just a way to serve somebody, meet the need for somebody that's having a health issue that may be a matter of life and death. It's just a way to serve."

Johnson said he's been a donor since his college days in 1970.

"If you're one of those people that likes to help others in need, this is one of the easiest ways to do it," Johnson said. "They'll stick your finger, do a few tests and then draw some blood. It's never bothered me, and the people really care for you and take care of your needs."

The Battle of the Badges took place from 1 p.m. to 6 p.m.

If you missed that blood drive, there's still plenty of chances.

A blood drive will be taking place on July 12 at the Walnut Ridge Nursing and Rehab in Walnut Ridge from 1-5 p.m.

They'll also have a drive in Marmaduke at the Marmaduke Community Center from 2-6 p.m.

Friday, July 13 you can donate blood at Walmart in Paragould from 2-6 p.m.

July 14 a blood drive will take place at the Walmart on Parker Road in Jonesboro from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Monday, July 16, the Neighborhood Fresh Market in Horseshoe Bend will host a blood drive from 2-6 p.m.

And on Wednesday, July 18, Integrity First Bank in Pocahontas will host a drive from 12-4 p.m.

For more information about the American Red Cross, click here.

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