MERRILLVILLE | The American Red Cross is facing a looming shortage of the blood types most needed by patients and is calling on eligible donors with O negative, B negative and A negative blood to give now to prevent an emergency situation. Blood donation appointments can be scheduled by using the Red Cross Blood Donor App, visiting redcrossblood.org or calling (800) RED CROSS.

Overall blood donations in the Red Cross Indiana-Ohio Blood Services Region have been approximately 1,549 fewer per month in June and July this year than the previous 10 months.

Type O negative is the universal blood type and can be transfused to patients with any blood type. Types B negative and A negative can be transfused to Rh positive or negative patients. Eligible donors are encouraged to donate double red cells – a process where two units of red cells are collected while most of the plasma and platelets are returned to the donor – where available.

“Many donors have already given this summer. We’re now asking donors who haven’t donated, and those who are eligible again, to make an appointment to give now to help ensure blood products are available for patients,” said Vince Robinson, external communications manager for the Red Cross Indiana-Ohio Region.

Platelet donors and those with type AB blood are also continually needed to help ensure patients receive the lifesaving blood products they need. Donors with type AB blood are urged to give blood or platelets to restock the plasma supply since they have the universal plasma type.

Individuals who donated blood early this summer may be eligible to donate again and help patients like an expectant mother at a Red Cross-supported hospital who is currently receiving nearly 100 units of blood products a week until she delivers. Her need alone could add up to 1,100 units.

Upcoming blood donation opportunities in Lake, Jasper and Newton counties:

  • 1 to 7 p.m. Thursday at American Reformed Church, 1021 S. Halleck St., DeMotte
  • 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday at God's Word Ministries, 400 Marshall St., Gary
  • 8:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. Sunday at Our Lady of Consolation Church, 8303 Taft St., Merrillville
  • 1 to 6 p.m. Monday at St. John Township Community Center, 1515 U.S. 30, Schererville
  • Noon to 6 p.m. Tuesday at Mike Anderson Chevrolet, 1550 E. 61st Ave., Merrillville
  • 1 to 3:30 p.m. Aug. 22 at Charter Fitness of North Hobart, 8560 E. Ridge Road, Hobart
  • 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Aug. 22 at Latin Pentecostal Church, 3950 Marquette Road, Lake Station
  • 9 to 11 a.m. Aug. 22 at Charter Fitness, 1642 U.S. 41, Schererville
  • 10 a.m. to noon Aug. 24 at BMO Harris Bank, 801 Joliet St., Dyer
  • 2:30 to 6:30 p.m. Aug. 24 at Hobart Community Center, 111 E. Old Ridge Road
  • 2 to 4 p.m. Aug. 24 at BMO Harris Bank, 790 W. U.S. 30, Schererville
  • 8:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. Aug. 27 at Kankakee Valley High School, 3923 W. Ind. 10, Wheatfield
  • 1:30 to 6 p.m. Aug. 28 at the Kentland Community Center, 401 N. Fourth St.
  • 3 to 7 p.m. Aug. 28 at Culver's, 980 W. U.S. 30, Schererville
  • 2 to 6 p.m. Aug. 30 at the Fraternal Order of Eagles Hall, 13140 Lake Shore Drive, Cedar Lake
  • Noon to 5:30 p.m. Aug. 30 at First Baptist Church, 484 Willow Court, Building T, Hammond
  • 1:30 to 6:30 p.m. Sept. 1 at Highland Parks & Recreation Department's Lincoln Center, 2450 Lincoln St.
  • 10 a.m. to noon Sept. 1 at Indiana Botanic Gardens, 3401 W. 37th Ave., Hobart
  • 12:30 to 6:30 p.m. Sept. 3 at St. Matthias Church, 101 Burrell Drive, Crown Point
  • 12:30 to 6:30 p.m. Sept. 4 at St. Bridget Church, 107 Main St., Hobart

Also, the Merrillville Donor Center, 791 E. 83rd Ave., is open from noon to 5 p.m. every Monday and from 8 a.m. to noon the first and third Saturday of each month, including Sept. 5 and 19.

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