Red Cross Issues Emergency Call for Blood and Platelet Donors

Posted 1 year ago

By Scott Carlson

american-red-crossThe American Red Cross issued an emergency request for platelet and blood donors of all blood types to roll up a sleeve and give because many fewer donations than expected were received in June and the first week of July.

“We are counting on generous volunteer blood and platelet donors to step up and give now,” said Tricia Quinn, CEO for the Red Cross Midwest Blood Services Region. “Every two seconds, someone in the U.S. needs blood. Each day donations come up short, less blood is available for these patients in need.”

Nationwide, donations through the Red Cross were down approximately 10 percent in June, resulting in about 50,000 fewer donations than expected. The shortfall is similar to what the Red Cross experienced in June 2012.

June can be among the most challenging months of the year for blood and platelet donations as regular donors delay giving while they adjust to summer schedules. High school and college blood drives account for as much as 20 percent of Red Cross donations during the school year. Donations from those who usually give at these drives drop by more than 80 percent when school is out for the summer.  In addition, a mid-week Independence Day holiday reduced the number of blood drives scheduled in early July. Many sponsors, especially businesses, were unable to host drives because employees took extended vacations.

The Red Cross urgently needs donations to ensure an adequate blood supply is available for patients all summer long.  Each day, the Midwest Blood Services Region must collect approximately 500 blood donations to meet patient needs. Eligible donors with types O negative, B negative and A negative blood are especially encouraged to give. Type O negative is the universal blood type and can be transfused to anyone who needs blood. Types A negative and B negative can be transfused to Rh positive or negative patients.

There is also an urgent need for platelet donations. Platelets – a key clotting component of blood often needed by cancer patients – must be transfused within five days of donation, so it’s important to have a steady supply of platelets on hand.

How to Donate Blood

Simply call 1-800-RED CROSS (1-800-733-2767) or visit redcrossblood.org to make an appointment or for more information. All blood types are needed to ensure a reliable supply for patients. A blood donor card or driver’s license, or two other forms of identification are required at check-in.  Individuals who are 17 years of age (16 with parental permission in some states), weigh at least 110 pounds and are in generally good health may be eligible to donate blood. High school students and other donors 18 years of age and younger also have to meet certain height and weight requirements.

About the American Red Cross

The American Red Cross shelters, feeds and provides emotional support to victims of disasters; supplies about 40 percent of the nation’s blood; teaches skills that save lives; provides international humanitarian aid; and supports military members and their families. The Red Cross is a not-for-profit organization that depends on volunteers and the generosity of the American public to perform its mission. For more information, please visit redcross.org or visit us on Twitter at @RedCross.

Upcoming blood donation opportunities:

Frontier County

July 15 from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. at Legion Hall, 108 N. Main St. in Eustis, Neb.

Furnas County

July 22 from 11:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. at Ella Missing Community Building, 411 Sixth St. in Arapahoe, Neb.

Keith County

July 16 from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. at Ogallala Fair Building, 1100 W. Fifth in Ogallala, Neb.

July 17 from 12-6 p.m. at Ogallala Fair Building, 1100 W. Fifth in Ogallala, Neb.

July 19 from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. at Ogallala Hospital, 2601 N. Spruce in Ogallala, Neb.

Lincoln County

July 11 from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. at American Red Cross, 1111 S. Cottonwood in North Platte, Neb.

July 15 from 12:30-6:30 p.m. at Community Building, 121 N. Main in Brady, Neb.

July 16 from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. at American Red Cross, 1111 S. Cottonwood in North Platte, Neb.

July 18 from 1-7 p.m. at Berean Church, 202 W. Eighth in North Platte, Neb.

July 18 from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. at American Red Cross, 1111 S. Cottonwood in North Platte, Neb.

July 19 from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. at Community Hall, 105 E. Alice St. in Wallace, Neb.

July 23 from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. at American Red Cross, 1111 S. Cottonwood in North Platte, Neb.

Logan County

July 12 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. at Village Hall, 236 Main St. in Stapleton, Neb.

Perkins County

July 10 from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. at New Life Fellowship Hall, 617 W. Fourth in Grant, Neb.