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Blood donors needed after Hurricane Idalia worsens existing blood shortage

The Red Cross said there is an urgent need for platelets and Type O blood.

ST. LOUIS — The American Red Cross said it needs blood donors to help address an urgent shortage nationwide.

According to a news release, canceled blood drives due to Hurricane Idalia paired with a shortfall of about 30,000 donations in August have led to a national shortage.

"When Idalia slammed into the Southeast – leading to widespread power outages, travel hazards and flooding – the storm also forced the cancellation of over a dozen blood drives and caused hundreds of blood and platelet donations to go uncollected," the release said.

The release said donors of all blood types are needed to replenish the existing stock. The most needed donations are platelets and Type O blood.

In an effort to increase the supply, the Red Cross has launched the "Race to Give Blood" drive this month. Anyone who gives blood through Sept. 18 can get a Red Cross T-shirt while supplies last. 

Anyone who donates in September will also get a coupon for a free haircut at Sport Clips and an automatic entry for a chance to win a trip to the 2024 NASCAR Cup Series race at Darlington Raceway. For more information, click here.

Blood donation opportunities are upcoming in the St. Louis area. To find a donation location that works for you, download the American Red Cross Blood Donor App, visit RedCrossBlood.org, call 1-800-RED CROSS (1-800-733-2767) or enable the Blood Donor Skill on any Alexa Echo device.

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