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Blood donors sought to address shortage in Las Vegas Valley

The American Red Cross is calling for donors in the wake of a blood supply shortage in the Las Vegas Valley.

The organization has less than a three-day supply of most blood types available and is facing an “emergency need” for donors to restock its reserve, Red Cross spokeswoman Cynthia De La Torre said in an email Tuesday.

Hundreds fewer blood drives were organized over the Fourth of July holiday week than usual, she said, which contributed to the shortage. There were approximately 17,000 fewer donations than needed for patients in one week, according to a Red Cross release.

The Red Cross launched the Missing Types campaign in June, removing the letters of the main blood groups — A, B and O — from popular brands’ logos to draw attention to the issue of blood shortages.

Even with the campaign, there were 24,000 fewer donations last month than needed to provide hospitals the proper supply, according to the release.

The Red Cross has added more than 8,000 appointments at blood donation centers and community drives to help make up for this deficit, the release said, and donations of all blood types are needed to maintain a minimum five-day supply.

How to donate

People who want to donate blood are encouraged to make an appointment using the Blood Donor App, at RedCrossBlood.org or by calling 800-733-2767.

Appointments are recommended because donors can complete the online health survey and questionnaire in advance, saving time at the donation centers.

Anyone interested in hosting a blood drive can find more information at RedCrossBlood.org/HostADrive.

Contact Amanda Bradford at abradford@reviewjournal.com or 702-383-0279. Follow @amandabrad_uc on Twitter.

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