'Perfect storm' makes blood donations vital

Tuesday, January 29, 2019

We try to get the point across as often as possible, but it’s even more important that people hear the message now:

You have something somebody needs, and only you, or someone just like you, can provide it.

We’re getting a taste of winter weather, but only a taste, compared to our friends to the north and east, where temperatures could hit minus 30 degrees and wind chills of 60 below.

It’s not inviting weather to get out and, say, donate blood. In fact, this month, more than 4,600 Red Cross blood and platelet donations already went uncollected because of the cold weather.

Plus, many who would have given blood in recent weeks didn’t do so because of the government shutdown — some 4 percent of Red Cross blood collections come from drives sponsored by military and local, state and federal government agencies.

About 30 blood drives hosted by federal offices were canceled across the country due to the shutdown, leaving more than 900 donations uncollected, according to the American Red Cross.

As a result, blood donations are being distributed to hospitals faster than they are coming in, and there is less than a three-day supply of most blood types on hand — the Red Cross tries to maintain a five-day supply to meet normal demand as well as emergencies.

All eligible donors, especially platelet donors and those with type O blood are urgently needed to help restock the shelves. Download the Blood Donor app, visit RedCrossBlood.org or call 1-800-Red Cross (1-800-733-2767) to plan your visit.

Upcoming drives include:


2/27/2019: 9 a.m. - 3 p.m., Medicine Valley High School, West 4th and Crook


2/4/2019: 12 p.m. - 6 p.m., Community Hall, 202 N. Commercial Street


2/21/2019: 12 p.m. - 6 p.m., Ella Missing Community Building, 411 6th Street


1/31/2019: 12 p.m. - 6 p.m., Cambridge High School, 1003 Nelson St


2/20/2019: 9 a.m. - 3 p.m., Southern Valley High School, 43739 Highway 89

Hayes Center

2/19/2019: 10 a.m. - 4 p.m., Hayes Center High School, 500 Troth Street


2/1/2019: 12 p.m. - 6 p.m., Indianola VFW Community Hall, 408 F Street


2/26/2019: 12:30 p.m. - 6:30 p.m., McCook Community Building, 1412 West 5th

2/27/2019: 11 a.m. - 5 p.m., McCook Community Building, 1412 West 5th

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.

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