Red Cross hosts blood drive amid “critical” shortage

Published: Jun. 29, 2023 at 11:54 AM CDT
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JONESBORO, Ark. (KAIT) - The need for blood is at a critical level. To help, the Red Cross is hosting blood drive events nationwide, including in Northeast Arkansas.

The Red Cross teamed up with St. Bernards Thursday for one of the final drives of the month.

According to Jerrica Fox, account manager for Northeast Arkansas, the Red Cross was more than 26,000 donations short in May. So far in June, that number has nearly doubled, meaning the Red Cross is roughly 50,000 donations short over the past two months. They are now in what Fox called a “critical” shortage.

“If we don’t find the donors and they don’t come out to help this month or next when our hospitals submit their orders, we won’t be able to fill it,” Fox said. “There will be a patient in the hospital who can’t receive their sickle cell treatment or can’t receive their chemo treatment.”

She said if the shortage continues the way it’s going, those treatments and surgeries will have to be postponed. However, some patients simply cannot afford that.

To help fight this problem, the Red Cross is offering a $10 gift card to those who take the time to donate in the month of June. They will have a similar promotion for July as well, with slightly different incentives.

Megan Mayeux, director of pastoral care at St. Bernards, donated blood during Thursday’s drive. She called it a painless process that everyone should participate in.

“It’s just one of those things we need for our community for different accidents or emergencies. And we’re coming up on the 4th of July, so we need to prepare for that,” Mayeux said. “It’s only about 15 minutes of giving blood. Most of the time is spent getting the paperwork together before.”

If you’re interested in giving, the final event in Northeast Arkansas is Friday, June 30, in Walnut Ridge at Lawrence Memorial Hospital, 201 S. Memorial Dr., from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.

To schedule an appointment, visit