January 18, 2017
8:57 am

Red Cross Issues Emergency Call

Whether you are a first timer or a regular donor, the American Red Cross has issued a nationwide emergency call for blood and platelet donors due to a severe winter blood shortage.

Authorities say that hectic holiday schedules for many regular blood donors contributed to about 37,000 fewer donations in November and December than what was needed. Snowstorms and severe weather have also impacted donations. Nearly 100 blood drives were forced to cancel in December, resulting in more than 3,100 blood donations going uncollected.

Todd Kulman is External Communications Manager of the Great Lakes Blood Services Region. He tells us, “Blood and platelet donations are critically needed in the coming days so that patients can continue to receive the lifesaving treatments they are counting on.” Kulman adds, “We encourage donors to invite a family member or friend to donate with them to help meet patient needs. Right now, blood and platelet donations are being distributed to hospitals faster than they are coming in.”
Here's how you can help. 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). The Red Cross is extending hours at many donation sites for more donors to give blood or platelets. Overall, the Red Cross has added nearly 200 hours to blood donation centers and community blood drives across the country over the next few weeks. Donation appointments and completion of a RapidPass online health history questionnaire are encouraged to help speed up the donation process.

Kulman points out that, “In about an hour, you can help save someone’s life. This simple act can have a profound impact on another human being.”
Every two seconds, someone in the U.S. needs blood. 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.
Here are some upcoming blood donation opportunities in Michigan's Great Southwest:
In Berrien County:
Saint Joseph
1/10/2017: 12pm - 4:45pm, Caretel Inns of Lakeland, 3905 Lorraine Path
1/11/2017: 11am - 4:45pm, American Red Cross, 3838 Niles Road
1/18/2017: 9am - 2:45pm, Lake MI Catholic High School, 915 Pleasant
In Van Buren County:
1/9/2017: 12:30pm - 5:15pm, Church of Christ, 214 Walnut
1/13/2017: 11:30am - 5:15pm, Decatur High School, 110 Cedar
1/16/2017: 12pm - 5:45pm, Evangelical Mennonite Church, 425 Nursery Street
South Haven
1/17/2017: 12pm - 5:45pm, Moose Lodge 697, 1025 Wells St
1/19/2017: 10am - 3:45pm, Lawrence High School, 650 W. St. Joseph Street
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, you can visit redcross.org or cruzrojaamericana.org, or visit on Twitter at @RedCross.
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People : Todd Kulman
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