The American Red Cross is facing a severe blood shortage and urgently needs blood and platelet donors to give now to avoid delays in lifesaving medical care for patients. Volunteer blood drive hosts are also critically needed to prevent the shortage from worsening this winter.
Local blood drives include: Thursday, Nov. 15, noon-6 p.m., First Baptist Church, 854 S. Shoop Ave., Wauseon; Wednesday, Nov. 21, 1-6 p.m., American Legion Post #265, 1105 N. Shoop Ave., Wauseon; Saturday, Nov. 24, 9 a.m.-2 p.m., Fayette Church of the Nazarene, 511 S. Fayette St.; Tuesday, Nov. 27, 3:30-8:30 p.m., Delta Elementary School, 419 Fernwood St.; Monday, Dec. 3, North Star Bluescope Steel, 6767 County Road 9, Delta; Friday, Dec. 7, 11 a.m.-4 p.m., Fulton County Health Center, 725 S. Shoop Ave., Wauseon.
During September and October, the Red Cross collected over 21,000 fewer blood and platelet donations than what hospitals needed. Blood donors of all blood types, especially type O, and platelet donors, are urged to make an appointment to donate at RedCrossBlood.org or by calling 1-800-733-2767.
Fewer blood drives in September and October coupled with hurricanes Michael and Florence, which caused thousands of blood and platelet donations to go uncollected, were key contributing factors to the current blood shortage.
“This time of year, as many give thanks for family, friends and good health, it’s important to remember that patients across the country cannot survive without your generosity,” said Cliff Numark, senior vice president, Red Cross Biomedical Services. “From traumas to ongoing cancer treatments, the need for blood doesn’t stop for the holidays. People can give back – and help those in need – by making a lifesaving blood or platelet donation now and hosting a blood drive in the weeks to come.”
An additional 4,300 blood drives nationally – and approximately 75 blood drives in this area – are needed in December, January, and February to help stop the shortage from continuing throughout winter. Donations often decline during the winter holidays when many groups postpone blood drives while regular donors are busy with holiday activities and travel. Severe winter weather may also cause blood drive cancellations contributing to fewer donations than needed.
To encourage donations around the Thanksgiving holiday, those who come to donate blood or platelets with the Red Cross Nov. 21-24 will receive a long-sleeved Red Cross T-shirt, while supplies last.
Donation appointments and completion of a RapidPass are encouraged to help speed up the donation process. RapidPass lets donors complete the pre-donation reading and answer the health history questionnaire online, on the day of their donation, from the convenience of a mobile device or computer, or through the Blood Donor App.