The American Red Cross is experiencing a severe blood shortage as the number of trauma cases, organ transplants and elective surgeries rise and deplete the nation s blood inventory. Donors of all blood types—especially type O and those giving platelets—are urged to make an appointment to give as soon as possible to prevent further impact to patients.

Right now, hospitals are responding to an atypically high number of traumas and emergency room visits, as well as overdoses and resulting transplants. In comparison to 2019, the Red Cross has seen demand from trauma centers climb by 10 percent in 2021” 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 Dr. Ross Herron, divisional chief medical officer for the Red Cross. “As many people begin to enjoy travel and time with loved ones again this summer, patients are relying on the generosity of donors to help ensure they have access to the treatment they need. Please consider blood donation as a summer activity that can help save lives.”

Schedule an appointment to give blood now by using the Red Cross Blood Donor App, visiting RedCrossBlood.org, calling (800) RED CROSS ((800) 733-2767) or enabling the Blood Donor Skill on any Alexa Echo device.

Donors are urged to make an appointment to give blood or platelets now. As a thank-you, those who come to give /now through June 30 will receive a $5 Amazon.com Gift Card via email, courtesy of Amazon. (Restrictions apply. Additional information and details are available at /RedCrossBlood.org/Together.) /

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

Upcoming blood donation opportunities include:

• Compton—6/27/2021: 7 a.m. – 1 p.m., St. Albert the Great Church, 804 E Compton Blvd.

• Culver City—6/24/2021: 1 – 7 p.m., American Legion Post 46, 5309 Sepulveda Blvd.

• Los Angeles—6/24/2021: 9 a.m. – 3 p.m., Crenshaw Christian Center, 7901 S Vermont Ave.

• 6/29/2021: 9 a.m. – 3 p.m., YMCA, 8015 S. Sepulveda

• 6/30/2021: 12:30 p.m. – 6:30 p.m., Weingart YMCA, 9900 S. Vermont Ave.

Each Red Cross blood drive and donation center follows the highest standards of safety and infection control, and additional precautions including social distancing and face masks for donors and staff have been implemented to help protect the health of all those in attendance.

To donate blood, individuals need to bring a blood donor card or driver s license or two other forms of identification that are required at check-in. Individuals who are 17 years of age in most states (16 with parental consent where allowed by state law), weigh at least 110 pounds and are in generally good health may be eligible to donate blood. High school students and other donors 18 years of age and younger also must meet certain height and weight requirements.