Red Cross in 'critical need' of blood

LAWRENCEVILLE — The American Red Cross is stressing an urgent need for blood donors — particularly those with type O negative — and several blood drives in Gwinnett over the long Labor Day weekend will be doing their part to try and help.

Officials with the Red Cross said things as simple as a brutally hot summer have kept donors away in recent months, leading to a dire need.

Upcoming American Red Cross blood drives in Gwinnett County


• Noon to 5 p.m. Saturday, Sunday and Monday at the Mall of Georgia, 3333 Buford Drive


• 2 to 7 p.m. Friday at the Centerville Community Center, 3025 Bethany Church Road


• 1 to 6 p.m. Friday at Bruster’s, 2700 Braselton Highway


• 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Friday at RBC Bank, 3764 Old Norcross Road


• 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday at Wal-Mart Store No. 3388, 1400 Lawrenceville Highway


• 1:30 to 6:30 p.m. Friday at Snellville City Hall, 2342 Oak Road

• 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday at Wal-Mart Store No. 1720, 1550 Scenic Highway


• 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Thursday at Pediatric Dental Town Johns Creek, 4330 Johns Creek Parkway

• 1 to 6 p.m. Friday at Wal-Mart Store No. 3462, 3245 Lawrenceville-Suwanee Road

“There is a critical need for blood donors right now,” said Randy Edwards, CEO for the Southern Blood Services Region of the Red Cross. “This summer we have had a particularly difficult time recruiting enough blood donors to meet the requirements of our community’s hospitals and the patients they serve.”

According to the Red Cross, more than 39,000 pints of blood are needed for patients in the United States every day, for causes like the treatment of cancer patients, people with blood disorders, premature babies, transplant recipients and trauma victims.

While donors with all blood types are needed, officials said, those with type O negative are especially urged to lend a hand. Type O negative blood can be transfused to patients with any blood type.

Almost a dozen Red Cross stations will be set up at various locations across Gwinnett County this week and into the holiday weekend.

“We urge people to make and keep an appointment to donate blood now,” Edwards said. “Chances are, someone is counting on you right now for their very life.”