by Victoria Franco, Bay City News

The American Red Cross is experiencing an emergency blood and platelet shortage and is urging the public to donate to meet the needs of patients this fall.
Red Cross officials said they must collect 10,000 additional blood products each week throughout October for their blood supply to recover and help patients in need. A sharp drop in blood donor turnout has resulted in the lowest post-summer blood inventory level in six years.
“Fall is typically a time when the blood supply rebounds…” said Dr. Pampee Young, chief medical officer for the Red Cross.
People of all blood types, especially type O, are asked to make an appointment immediately to make a blood donation.
Donor turnout has declined drastically this year due to the recent surge of COVID-19, the Red Cross said.
The organization said in August that participation from blood donors was down 10 percent, but blood product distributions continue to remain strong.
People donating in October will receive a link by email to claim a free Zaxby’s Signature sandwich reward or can receive a $5 e-gift card to a merchant of their choice.
Appointments can be made at the Red Cross website.