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Red Cross Issues Emergency Call For Blood Donors
Updated January 15, 2019 6:49 AM | Filed under: Health
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(UNDATED) - A donation shortfall over the winter holidays is prompting the American Red Cross to issue an emergency call for blood and platelet donors to give now to prevent a blood shortage from continuing throughout winter and affecting patient care.

The Red Cross collected more than 27,000 fewer blood and platelet donations the weeks of Christmas and New Year's than needed to sustain a sufficient blood supply. During this period, about 1,350 fewer blood drives were hosted by volunteer sponsor groups than required to meet patient needs as busy holiday schedules kept many donors away.

"Many people may not realize that blood products are perishable, and the only source of lifesaving blood for patients is volunteer blood donors," said Cliff Numark, senior vice president, Red Cross Biomedical Services. "When donations decline - as they did around the holidays and may further decline if severe winter weather and flu season pick up - lifesaving medical treatments could be delayed."

Right now, the Red Cross has less than a three-day supply of most blood types on hand, well below the ideal five-day supply needed to respond to emergencies and daily hospital needs. Blood products are currently being distributed to hospitals faster than donations are coming in.

"We hope people can resolve to save lives now - when there is an emergency need - as well as throughout the year," added Numark.

All eligible donors, especially platelet donors and blood donors with type O blood, are urged to make an appointment to give in the coming days to help restock the shelves for hospital patients. Eligible donors can find a blood or platelet 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).

Volunteer blood drive hosts are also critically needed to prevent the shortage from worsening this winter. Winter weather poses a risk to blood supply With several weeks of winter ahead; severe winter weather poses an additional threat to an already low blood supply. Snow, ice and extreme temperatures last January and February forced hundreds of blood drive cancellations, causing about 23,000 blood and platelet donations to go uncollected. In December, winter weather resulted in nearly twice the number of uncollected blood and platelet donations as December 2017.

Who blood donations help

Branson photo.jpg

In May 2018, 4-year-old Branson Gibby was diagnosed with neuroblastoma, a rare type of childhood cancer that affects certain types of nerve tissue after complaining of pain in his arms and legs and running a fever. After many tests, his mother, Erica Austin, was given the news that no mother ever wants to hear: her son had cancer.

Branson's 18-month treatment plan includes many rounds of grueling chemotherapy, surgery to remove the tumor near his kidney and spinal cord, stem cell transplants, and possibly radiation. He has already endured several lengthy hospital stays and began receiving the first of his stem cell transplants this fall.

Since his diagnosis, Branson has received 12 blood and 11 platelet transfusions.

Of the transfusions, Austin said, "They have been so important to keep him as healthy, active and battle-ready, as possible. This is the hardest thing our family has ever faced. However, there is hope in the generosity of strangers who are helping to heal my brave boy. Blood and platelet donations truly are the gift of life."

Upcoming blood donation opportunities Jan. 14-Feb. 15

Bartholomew County
Columbus

  • 1/17/2019: 11 a.m. - 4 p.m., First Church of the Nazarene, 1245 McClure Road
  • 1/22/2019: 1 p.m. - 6 p.m., Bartholomew County Library, 536 5th Street
  • 2/13/2019: 10 a.m. - 3 p.m., Ivy Tech Community College, 4601 Central Ave.
  • 2/14/2019: 12 p.m. - 4 p.m., Henry Chiropractic Center, 2790 Brentwood Drive
  • 2/15/2019: 9 a.m. - 2 p.m., Developmental Services Inc., 2920 10th Street

Hope


  • 1/14/2019: 2 p.m. - 7 p.m., Hope Moravian Church, 202 Main Street

Lawrence County
Bedford


  • 1/21/2019: 8 a.m. - 2 p.m., Indiana University Health Bedford, 2900 W. 16th Street

  • 2/2/2019: 9 a.m. - 2 p.m., Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, 1010 22nd Street

  • 2/5/2019: 1 p.m. - 6 p.m., First Baptist Church, 1515 20th Street

Mitchell


  • 1/18/2019: 12 p.m. - 4 p.m., Mitchell Manor Nursing Home, 24 Teke Burton Drive

Martin County
Loogootee


  • 2/7/2019: 2 p.m. - 7 p.m., St. Johns Catholic Church, 408 Church Street

  • 2/8/2019: 2:30 p.m. - 7:30 p.m., Fair Haven Fellowship Church, County Road 550 North


Shoals

  • 2/6/2019: 2 p.m. - 7 p.m., Shoals Christian Church, 602 N. Main Street

Monroe County
Bloomington


  • 1/16/2019: 10 a.m. - 4 p.m., School of Education, 201 N. Rose Avenue

  • 1/16/2019: 12 p.m. - 6 p.m., Bloomington Blood Donation Center, 1600 W. 3rd St.

  • 1/17/2019: 12 p.m. - 6 p.m., Bloomington Blood Donation Center, 1600 W. 3rd St.

  • 1/18/2019: 10 a.m. - 4 p.m., Bloomington Blood Donation Center, 1600 W. 3rd St.

  • 1/24/2019: 12 p.m. - 6 p.m., Bloomington Blood Donation Center, 1600 W. 3rd St.

  • 1/25/2019: 10 a.m. - 4 p.m., Bloomington Blood Donation Center, 1600 W. 3rd St.

  • 1/26/2019: 8 a.m. - 12 p.m., Bloomington Blood Donation Center, 1600 W. 3rd St.

  • 1/28/2019: 10 a.m. - 4 p.m., Indiana Memorial Union Building, 900 E. 7th St.

  • 1/31/2019: 2 p.m. - 7 p.m., First Presbyterian Church, 221 E. 6th Street

  • 1/31/2019: 2 p.m. - 7 p.m., Indiana University McNutt Residence Center, 1101 N. Fee Lane

  • 2/1/2019: 10 a.m. - 4 p.m., Bloomington Blood Donation Center, 1600 W. 3rd St.

  • 2/2/2019: 8 a.m. - 12 p.m., Bloomington Blood Donation Center, 1600 W. 3rd St.

  • 2/7/2019: 12 p.m. - 6 p.m., Bloomington Blood Donation Center, 1600 W. 3rd St.

  • 2/8/2019: 10 a.m. - 4 p.m., Bloomington Blood Donation Center, 1600 W. 3rd St.

  • 2/9/2019: 8 a.m. - 12 p.m., Bloomington Blood Donation Center, 1600 W. 3rd St.

  • 2/11/2019: 10 a.m. - 3 p.m., Indiana Memorial Union Building, 900 E. 7th St.

  • 2/12/2019: 11 a.m. - 3 p.m., Indiana University Memorial Union Building, 900 East 7th Street, Indiana Memorial Union

  • Building

  • 2/14/2019: 12 p.m. - 6 p.m., Bloomington Blood Donation Center, 1600 W. 3rd St.

  • 2/15/2019: 10 a.m. - 4 p.m., Bloomington Blood Donation Center, 1600 W. 3rd St.

Owen County
Spencer


  • 2/1/2019: 9 a.m. - 2 p.m., Owen Valley High School, 622 W. Hwy 46

Vigo County
Terre Haute


  • 1/22/2019: 11 a.m. - 4 p.m., Indiana State University - Arena, 5th and Chestnut

Other donation opportunities


  • Jan. 14 from 2 p.m. - 6 p.m.Cathedral Health Care Center, 520 West 9th St. Jasper, IN 47546

  • Jan. 15 from 3 p.m. - 7 p.m. at the VFW Post 2366, 314 Geiger St. Huntingburg, IN 47542

  • Jan. 17 from 1 p.m. - 6 p.m. Hutson Inc-John Deere, 2951 N 600 W. Jasper, IN 47546

  • Jan. 18 from 11:30 a.m. - 4:30 p.m. at Methodist Hospital, 1305 North Elm Henderson, KY 42420

  • Jan. 18 from 3 p.m. - 7 p.m. at Dale United Methodist Church, 1 West Elm St. Dale, IN 47523 1/28/2019

  • Jan. 19 from 10 a.m. - 2 p.m. at Knights of Columbus, 319 East Main St. Washington, IN 47501

  • Jan. 20 from 8 a.m. - Noon at St. Nicholas Catholic Church, 180 North Holiday Blvd. Santa Claus, IN 47579

  • Jan. 21 from 2 p.m. - 7 p.m. at Free Methodist Church, 1155 Troy Road Washington, IN 47501

  • Jan. 21 from 2 p.m. - 7 p.m. at North Elementary School, 600 NE 6th St. Washington, IN 47501

  • Jan. 23 from 2 p.m. - 6 p.m. at First United Methodist Church, 601 Main St. Mount Vernon, IN 47620

  • Jan. 24 from 2 p.m. - 7 p.m.Ferdinand Elementary School, 402 East 8th St. Ferdinand, IN 47532

  • Jan. 25 from 2 p.m. 7:30 p.m. at Bethel Mennonite Church, 9335 North 900 East Odon, IN 47562

  • Jan. 28 from 10 a.m. - 2 p.m. at Walmart, 4040 Newton St. Jasper, IN 47546

  • Jan. 28 from 2 p.m. - 7 p.m. Luce Elementary School, 1057 North County Road 700 West Richland, IN 47634

  • Jan. 28 from 3 p.m. - 7 p.m. at Dale United Methodist Church, 1 West Elm St. Dale, IN 47523

  • Jan. 29 from 1:30 p.m. - 6:30 p.m.First Baptist Church, 800 West Faith Boulevard Princeton, IN 47670

  • Jan. 30 from 9 a.m. - 1 p.m. at Henderson Community College, 2660 South Green St. Henderson, KY 42420

  • Jan. 30 from 2 p.m. - 7 p.m. at Holy Family Catholic Church, 950 E. Church Ave. Jasper, IN 47549

  • Jan. 31 from 1 p.m. - 6 p.m. at Santa Claus United Methodist Church, 351 North Holiday Boulevard Santa Claus, IN 47579

  • Jan. 31 from 1 p.m. - 6 p.m. at Lincoln Trail Elementary, 13726 Indiana 245 Lamar, IN 47550

  • Jan. 31 from 1 p.m. - 6 p.m. at Santa Claus United Methodist Church, 351 North Holiday Blvd. Santa Claus, IN 47579

  • Feb. 1 from 10:30 a.m. - 2:30 p.m. at Norris & Love Health Pointe, 1900 Saint Charles St. Jasper, IN 47546

  • Feb. 2 from 11 a.m. - 4 p.m. at St. Meinrad School of Theology, 200 Hill Drive Saint Meinrad, IN 47577

  • Feb. 3 from 8 a.m. until 1 p.m. at Holy Name Church, 511 Second St. Henderson, KY 42420

  • Feb. 4 from 2 p.m. - 7 p.m. at the American Legion Hall, 425 South Main St. Ferdinand, IN 47532

  • Feb. 5 from 11 a.m. - 4 p.m. at St. Meinrad School of Theology, 200 Hill Drive Saint Meinrad, IN 47577

  • Feb. 6 from 1 p.m.- 6 p.m. Jasper Library, 1116 Main St. Jasper, IN 47546

  • Feb. 7 from 9 a.m. - 1 p.m. at Barr Reeve High School, 627 North 3rd Street, P.O. Box 128 Montgomery, IN 47558

  • Feb. 10 from 8 a.m. until Noon at St. Raphael Catholic Church, 5564 Saint Raphael St. Dubois, IN 47527

  • Feb. 11 from 1 p.m. - 6 p.m. at Presbyterian Church, 100 South Main St. Henderson, KY 42420

  • Feb. 13 from 2:30 p.m. - 6:30 p.m. at John Paul II Catholic School, 307 South Church Street, P.O. Box 224 Morganfield, KY 42437

  • Feb. 14 from 2 p.m. - 7 p.m. at St. Peter & Paul Catholic Church, 211 North Vine St. Haubstadt, IN 47639

  • Feb. 15 from 11:30 a.m. - 4:30 p.m. at Daviess Community Hospital, 1314 East Walnut Washington, IN 47501

  • Feb. 15 from 2 p.m. - 7 p.m. at Washington Junior High School, 210 NE 6th St. Washington, IN 47501


How to donate blood

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 and platelet donors can 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, before arriving at the blood drive. To get started, follow the instructions at RedCrossBlood.org/RapidPass or use the Blood Donor App.

About the American Red Cross:

The American Red Cross shelters feed and provide 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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