Red Cross Blood Shortage Prompts Rrgent Call For Blood Donations During National Blood Donor Month

Severe weather forces blood drive cancellations causing thousands of donations to go uncollected

This January, National Blood Donor Month, the American Red Cross has an urgent need for blood donors of all blood types to make an appointment to give now and help address a winter blood donation shortage.

Severe winter weather has had a tremendous impact on blood donations already this year, with more than 150 blood drives forced to cancel causing over 5,500 blood and platelet donations to go uncollected. This is in addition to seasonal illnesses, such as the flu, and hectic holiday schedules collectively contributing to more than 28,000 fewer donations than what was needed in November and December.

“Even temporary disruptions to blood donations can diminish the availability for hospital patients,” said Sue Thesenga, communications manager of the local Red Cross Blood Services Region. It’s the blood on the shelves that helps save lives in an emergency, and that’s why we’re asking eligible individuals to make an appointment to give blood or platelets today.”

While serving local hospitals is the first priority, the Red Cross can move blood products to where they’re needed most. This allows generous donors throughout the country to contribute to the national blood supply and potentially help patients locally and in storm-affected areas.

While all blood types are urgently needed, there is a more critical need for the following blood and donation types right now:

  • Type O negative: The blood type that can be transfused to almost everyone and is what doctors reach for in trauma situations.
  • Type B negative: The blood type that can be transfused to type B Rh-positive and negative patients.
  • Type AB: The plasma type that can be transfused to almost everyone and can be donated through a platelet or plasma donation, where available, or during a regular blood donation.

 How to help

Eligible donors can find a blood donation opportunity and schedule an appointment to donate by using the free Blood Donor App, visiting redcrossblood.org or calling 1-800-RED CROSS (1-800-733-2767). 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, by visiting redcrossblood.org/rapidpass from the convenience of a mobile device or computer, or through the Blood Donor App.

Who blood donations help

Every two seconds, someone in the U.S. needs blood – a need that is all too real for Heather Hrouda and her family. Hrouda was 25 weeks pregnant with her fourth child when she began bleeding. An emergency cesarean section was performed, but Hrouda hemorrhaged during surgery. She received 14 units of blood and seven units of plasma before she and her newborn son, Rusher, were flown to a nearby hospital. There, she received additional transfusions, and Rusher was moved to the neonatal intensive care unit, where he also received a blood transfusion to increase his red blood cell count.

“My family and I are so thankful for all the blood donors,” said Hrouda. “It is safe to say that without their time and donations, Rusher and I would not be here today. Because of donors, I get to watch my kids grow up and become the adults they dream of being.”

The Hroudas are just two examples of the many patients who depend on blood and platelet donors. Accident and burn victims, heart surgery and organ transplant patients, and patients receiving treatment for leukemia, cancer or sickle cell disease may all require blood to save their lives. The Red Cross must collect more than 13,000 blood donations every day for patients at approximately 2,600 hospitals across the country.

 Upcoming blood donation opportunities Jan. 8 – 31:

Aitkin

Hill City

1/9/2018: 12 p.m. – 6 p.m., Hill City Assembly of God, 102 Lake Ave.

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Carlton

Cloquet

1/11/2018: 11 a.m. – 5 p.m., Journey Christian Church, 1400 Washington Ave.

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Crow Wing

Baxter

1/20/2018: 10 a.m. – 3 p.m., Pointway Church, 7756 Highland Scenic Road

 

Brainerd

1/26/2018: 12 p.m. – 6 p.m., Good Samaritan Society-Bethany, 804 Wright St.

1/31/2018: 10 a.m. – 4 p.m., American Legion Post 255, 708 Front St.

 

Crosby

1/11/2018: 10 a.m. – 4 p.m., Cuyuna Regional Medical Center, 320 E. Main

1/12/2018: 8 a.m. – 2 p.m., Cuyuna Regional Medical Center, 320 E. Main

 

Emily

1/8/2018: 1 p.m. – 6 p.m., Emily City Hall, 39811 State Highway 6

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Douglas

Alexandria

1/11/2018: 1 p.m. – 6 p.m., Bethesda Lutheran Church, 1204 N. Nokomis

1/15/2018: 1 p.m. – 7 p.m., St. Mary’s Catholic Church, 420 Irving St.

1/16/2018: 10:30 a.m. – 4:30 p.m., St. Mary’s Catholic Church, 420 Irving St.

1/25/2018: 10 a.m. – 4 p.m., Cornerstone Church, 202 7th Ave. E.

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Morrison

Motley

1/9/2018: 12 p.m. – 6 p.m., Motley United Methodist Church, 847 3rd Ave. S.

 

Pierz

1/19/2018: 12 p.m. – 6 p.m., Horizon Health, 26814 143rd St.

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Otter Tail

Fergus Falls

1/17/2018: 1 p.m. – 7 p.m., Bigwood Event Center, 925 Western Ave.

1/18/2018: 1 p.m. – 7 p.m., Bigwood Event Center, 925 Western Ave.

1/19/2018: 8 a.m. – 1 p.m., Bigwood Event Center, 925 Western Ave.

 

Henning

1/23/2018: 12 p.m. – 6 p.m., Community Center, 607 2nd St.

 

Parkers Prairie

1/24/2018: 12 p.m. – 6 p.m., Parkers Prairie High School, 411 South Otter Ave.

 

Pelican Rapids

1/16/2018: 1 p.m. – 7 p.m., Lake Region Electric Company, 1401 South Broadway

 

Underwood

1/17/2018: 2 p.m. – 7 p.m., Underwood High School, 100 Southern Ave. E.

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 St. Louis

Duluth

1/10/2018: 11 a.m. – 4 p.m., American Red Cross-Northland Chapter, 2524 Maple Grove Road

1/11/2018: 12 p.m. – 6 p.m., Peace in Christ Church, 5007 Maple Grove Road

1/29/2018: 9 a.m. – 2 p.m., University of Minnesota Duluth, Kirby Student Center, 1049 University Drive

 

Hibbing

1/9/2018: 11 a.m. – 5 p.m., Anytime Fitness, 3923 1st Ave.

1/29/2018: 12 p.m. – 6 p.m., Grace Lutheran Church Hibbing, 4010 9th Ave. W.

 

Virginia

1/12/2018: 12 p.m. – 6 p.m., Mesabi Family YMCA, 8367 Unity Drive

1/30/2018: 9 a.m. – 2 p.m., Mesabi Range Community College, 1001 Chestnut St. W.

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Todd

Bertha

1/23/2018: 11 a.m. – 5 p.m., Bertha-Hewitt High School, 310 Central Ave. S.

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 cruzrojaamericana.org, or visit us on Twitter at @RedCross.

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