The American National Red Cross planned a blood drive on Friday, and it was surprisingly overwhelmed. The blood drive took place at Dallas City Hall and according to Red Cross authorities, organizers had to turn some people away.

On Friday, Dallas’ blood drive was quickly overwhelmed when so many volunteers showed up. When the Red Cross planned the blood drive, it was not expected to receive so many donors. It was Thursday’s shooting what encouraged Dallas residents to contribute to the victims.

Lake Dallas High School senior Kara McGinnis plays games on her phone while donating blood at Friday’s blood drive. Credit: Star Local Media

Dallas Police Officers were the first to answer the blood drive’s call

Many of the volunteers to the blood drive were police officers. Officers that were involved in Thursday’s shooting came to be the first to participate in the blood drive. In fact, according to the Red Cross, the very first donor of the journey was a police officer. Last night 12 Dallas police officers were shot during a protest in downtown Dallas. The incident left five officers killed, and seven were hurt in a shooting on Thursday evening. The Red Cross conducted Dallas blood drive ahead of Thursday’s attack.

During the ambush, dozens of shots were fired just before 9 p.m. Some of the officers wounded in the attack belonged to DPD and others to DART police. The incident was registered as deadliest day for U.S. law officers since the 2011 terrorist attack.

Hence, the American Red Cross scheduled on Friday an emergency blood drive to attend victims of the attack. The call for blood donations has been done nationwide, and several donations sites have already been planned and scheduled for July.

After the tragedy, the Red Cross sent blood supplies to one of the health institutions in charge of the victims. However, the shortage of blood at US hospitals has been registered during last few months. Red Cross authorities encourage Americans to donate blood and platelets to help replenish the supply. Blood on shelves might save everyone’s life, and the organization needs the broad participation of those who can donate but also from those who can help one way or another.

“Our hearts go out to all those who are affected by this tragedy. In response, the American Red Cross has supplied more than 225 blood products to one of the hospitals treating victims of the shooting and we are on standby should additional blood be needed. Yesterday’s tragedies illustrate that it is the blood already on the shelves that helps during an emergency. The Red Cross is grateful for all donors who generously give blood throughout the country,” said Anita Foster, a spokesperson for Red Cross Blood Services.

Next Monday, July 11, there will be another blood drive from 11:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. at the Red Cross headquarters, in downtown Dallas. Red Cross authorities are asking people to schedule an appointment before coming. Volunteers can use the free app Blood Donor App, visit or call 800-RED CROSS (1-800-733-2767).

Donations’ appointments have been planned to avoid long wait time during the blood drives.

Emergency Request for Blood Donations

This summer it has been registered a low blood supply at US health facilities, which is why the American Red Cross has scheduled several emergency calls for blood drives.

According to Rodney Wilson, communications manager of Red Cross Blood Services, there is an urgent need of blood donations to assist institutionalized patients in each health care institution. Wilson also said that considering the current level of blood supply US health facilities need to count with sufficient blood reserves to meet the patients’ need during the upcoming days and weeks. Wilson made an appeal for those who have considered before donating blood that it is the right time to do it. He emphasized that when an emergency occurs, blood donations on the shelves are helpful to save people’s lives.

During the past few months, blood donations have not been enough to meet the hospital’s demand. According to the American Red Cross registers, the 39,000 blood donations received in the hospital have fallen short of what is needed. A fact that has also affected the Red Cross blood supply.

Regarding this point, Wilson said that right now, there are more blood products (blood and platelets) been distributed in hospitals than those been received in the Red Cross. The institution has thus decided to make emergency requests for blood donations.

“Right now, blood products are being distributed to hospitals faster than donations are coming in, which is why we are making this emergency request for donations. Donations are urgently needed now to meet the needs of hospital patients in the coming days and weeks.  If you’ve thought about giving blood and helping to save lives, now is the time to do it. It’s the blood donations on the shelves that help save lives when an emergency occurs,” said Wilson.

The American National Red Cross has extended schedules at many donation sites to provide more flexibility when receiving donors. Donors with all blood types are needed and several works to facilitate donations appointments, and processes are being carried out.

Source: CBS Local Dallas