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How to Help: Emergency Need for Platelet Donations

In most areas of the country, the American Red Cross has an emergency need for eligible platelet donors to make an appointment now to ensure critical patient needs are met.

What are platelets and why are they so important?

Platelets are the clotting portion of blood and needed by some of the most critically ill patients – cancer and trauma patients, those undergoing organ transplants and premature babies regularly need platelets. Platelets must be transfused within five days of donation and, therefore, are always in great demand.

Why is there an emergency need right now?

Seasonal colds and flu are currently preventing many regular donors from giving and the devastating impact of Hurricane Matthew has disrupted donations in many locations in the Southeast. More than 100 blood drives have been forced to cancel resulting in nearly 3,300 uncollected blood and platelet donations. While there is an emergency need for platelets, donors can also help by giving blood as there is an urgent need for all blood types.

How do I sign up to give platelets?

To make an appointment to give platelets or blood, download the American Red Cross Blood Donor App, visit or call 1-800-RED CROSS (1-800-733-2767). And thank you for your generosity!

About the American Red Cross:

The American Red Cross shelters, feeds and provides emotional support to victims of disasters; supplies about 40 percent of the nation's blood; teaches skills that save lives; provides international humanitarian aid; and supports military members and their families. The Red Cross is a not-for-profit organization that depends on volunteers and the generosity of the American public to perform its mission. For more information, please visit or, or visit us on Twitter at @RedCross.

Ready To Donate

Find a drive and schedule a blood donation appointment today.