In response to the lowest nationwide blood supply in more than a decade, Medical City McKinney is encouraging the community to donate blood.

Partnering with the American Red Cross, Medical City McKinney is hosting a blood drive on Thursday, March 24. The Red Cross bus will be located in the hospital’s parking lot, 4500 Medical Center Drive from 9:30 a.m. – 3 p.m. Community members may sign-up to donate online or by calling 1-800-RED-CROSS.

Multiple factors related to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic have contributed to the blood shortage, including blood drive cancellations due to illness and staffing limitations. The American Red Cross reports a 62% drop in college and high school blood drives due to the pandemic.

Every blood type is needed, especially types O positive and O negative, as well as platelet donations. Donors can help as many as three different people with just one donation. Individuals who may rely on blood products include trauma victims, cancer and sickle cell patients, mothers giving birth, and premature babies.

Potential blood donors may volunteer at age 16 with parental consent; 17-year-olds can give independently and there is no upper age limit for donors. People are also eligible to donate if they’ve had a COVID-19 vaccine or had the virus and recovered. Learn more about donor eligibility guidelines here.