Following several rounds of severe winter weather in many parts of the country, the American Red Cross urges eligible blood and platelet donors to help restock its shelves to overcome a shortage.
Since Dec. 1, about 300 blood drives across 27 states have been forced to cancel due to inclement winter weather, resulting in more than 10,500 blood and platelet donations going uncollected. This week, icy roads forced blood drives to cancel across Nebraska. Despite the weather, hospital patients still rely on transfusions.
Blood donor Jim Taylor knows how it feels to have a loved one waiting for a transfusion. His son Aaron was born with a rare liver condition. In the short two months of his life, he received 115 blood products. Taylor said each transfusion gave his family more time with Aaron, so he encourages others to give.
“When the Red Cross says there is a shortage, they are not exaggerating,” said Taylor. “I now know from experience that what they are saying is somewhere there is a father waiting on the donation that will save his son’s life. When the Red Cross asks for help, what that means is a new dad is praying for a miracle.”
To make an appointment to give blood, download the Red Cross Blood Donor App, visit redcrossblood.org or call 1-800-RED CROSS (1-800-733-2767). Donors are encouraged to make appointments and complete the RapidPass online health history questionnaire at redcrossblood.org/rapidpass to save time when donating.
Upcoming blood donation opportunities:
2/9/2017: 9 a.m. – 3 p.m., St Pius X Catholic Church, 915 E 3rd Street
1/24/2017: 2 p.m. – 7 p.m., Municipal Building, 314 S. 10th
2/6/2017: 11 a.m. – 5 p.m., Chadron State Coll. Student Center, 1000 Main Street
2/7/2017: 9 a.m. – 2 p.m., Chadron State Coll. Student Center, 1000 Main Street
1/27/2017: 9 a.m. – 3 p.m., Spalding City Auditorium, St. Joseph Ave.
1/30/2017: 12 p.m. – 6 p.m., Knights of Columbus, 410 West Douglas Street
2/13/2017: 11 a.m. – 5 p.m., St. Paul Methodist Church, 1320 Baxter Street
2/3/2017: 12 p.m. – 6 p.m., Winters Building, 204 N. Main
1/26/2017: 9 a.m. – 2 p.m., Arcadia Public School, 320 W. Owens St.
How to help
Simply download the American Red Cross Blood Donor App, visit redcrossblood.org or call 1-800-RED CROSS (1-800-733-2767) 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 in most states (16 with parental consent where allowed by state law), 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.
Blood donors can now save time at their next donation by using RapidPass to complete their pre-donation reading and health history questionnaire online, on the day of their donation, prior to arriving at the blood drive. To get started and learn more, visit redcrossblood.org/rapidpass and follow the instructions on the site.