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Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883

Red Cross hosting local blood drives as blood shortage persists

The American Red Cross, which collects about 40% of blood donations nationwide, still has a critical blood shortage.

Blood and platelet donations are running dangerously low this summer, despite the increased need seen in emergency departments around the country.

Type O blood is in particular demand because it can be used in almost all patients, regardless of the patient’s blood type.

Having less blood available to hospitals and health care centers means there is a potential they might be forced to cancel elective procedures and surgeries to keep blood supplies available to treat traumatic and emergent injuries.

Red Cross is not the blood supplier to local hospitals in the Inland Northwest, but donations will address the shortage wherever it is.

“(Donations) go where they’re needed,” Betsy Robertson, the Northwest regional communications director, said. “It could be locally, or they are more needed in a state nearby.”

The Red Cross is offering free hats to donors between July 1 and July 6 as well as offering $10 Amazon gift cards to blood donors from July 7 through the end of the month.

There are several blood drives planned in July in Eastern Washington.

“We hope individuals who are donating blood do it because it has the potential to save up to three lives – because someone out there needs it,” Robertson said.

There are still open slots at upcoming blood drives in Whitman and Spokane counties.

Robertson said even if the slots are full, it could be worth stopping by the drive early in the day to see if there is a no-show whose place you can fill.

“We have had an unfortunate run on no-shows so even though there are appointments booked, it’s worth popping by the drive,” said Robertson.

Those who are healthy and have been vaccinated against COVID-19 are eligible to donate blood in most cases.

Vitalant, which supplies blood to most hospitals in the Inland Northwest, is also experiencing a critical shortage in blood donations.

You can donate blood at local Vitalant locations or find a Red Cross blood drive here.

Upcoming Red Cross blood drives:

Liberty Lake

Friday from 11 a.m.-4 p.m., George Gee Buick GMC, 21502 E. George Gee Ave.


Wednesday from 1 p.m.-6 p.m., Double Tree by Hilton Spokane City Center, 322 N. Spokane Falls Court.

Thursday from 11:30 a.m.-4:30 p.m., Double Tree by Hilton Spokane City Center, 322 N. Spokane Falls Court.


Wednesday from 10 a.m.-3 p.m., Gladish Community & Cultural Center, 115 NW State St.

Thursday from 9 a.m.-3 p.m., WSU Police Department, 2201 E Grimes Way, WSU Police Department.

July 15 from 10 a.m.-3 p.m., Gladish Community & Cultural Center, 115 NW State St. Room 115.

Arielle Dreher's reporting for The Spokesman-Review is primarily funded by the Smith-Barbieri Progressive Fund, with additional support from Report for America and members of the Spokane community. These stories can be republished by other organizations for free under a Creative Commons license. For more information on this, please contact our newspaper’s managing editor.