MILWAUKEE — The American Red Cross continues to experience an emergency blood and platelet shortage that has caused the blood supply to drop to the lowest post-summer level in at least six years.

With less than a day’s supply of certain blood types in recent weeks, the Red Cross asks donors of all blood types – especially type O − to make an appointment to give blood or platelets as soon as possible to ensure patients can receive the lifesaving transfusions they rely on.

Appointments can be made by using the Red Cross Blood Donor App, visiting or calling 1-800-RED CROSS (1-800-733-2767).

Fall is typically a time when the blood supply rebounds from summer blood shortages, but a surge in COVID-19 cases across the U.S. due to the delta variant has contributed to the lowest donor turnout of the year.

To shore up inventory, the Red Cross must collect 10,000 additional blood products each week this month to meet hospital and patient needs.

During Breast Cancer Awareness Month in October, the Red Cross is reminding donors of the importance of blood to those undergoing treatment.

According to the National Cancer Institute, roughly 1.9 million people are expected to be diagnosed with cancer in the U.S. this year, and more than 281,000 of those individuals will have breast cancer.

Patients with breast cancer and other cancers may need blood products on a regular basis during chemotherapy, surgery or treatment for complications.

In fact, nearly 25% of the blood supply is used by cancer patients.

There are several blood drive scheduled in Dodge and Jefferson counties through Nov. 13.

In Jefferson County, a blood drive is set for Tuesday from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the Watertown Senior and Community Center, 514 S. First St., and on Nov. 1 from 1 to 6 p.m. at Maranatha Baptist University, 745 W. Main St., Watertown.

There will be a blood drive in Sullivan Oct. 26 from 1 to 6 p.m. at Sullivan Elementary School, 618 Bakertown Road.

Johnson Creek High School, 455 Aztalan St., will host a blood drive Nov. 1 from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m.; Jefferson High School, 700 W. Milwaukee St., will hold a drive Nov. 3 from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m.; and Waterloo High School, 865 Monroe St., will host a blood drive Nov. 5 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

In Dodge County, there is a drive planned in Beaver Dam Monday from 11:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. and Tuesday from 12:30 to 5:30 p.m., both at First Evangelical Lutheran Church, 311 W. Mackie St. and in Ashippun from 10 a.m. to 6 p .m. Nov. 8 at the Ashippun Town Hall, W1266 County Highway O.

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