Flooding increases need for blood donations
Severe weather and flooding are devastating many communities throughout the central United States and are also affecting the blood supply.
Blood donations made through the American Red Cross are off 10-20 percent in many areas this week, causing Red Cross officials to urge eligible donors in unaffected regions to give blood to help ensure blood supplies are stable for patients locally and throughout the country.
"Many donors in storm-affected areas are unable to get to blood drives or are in the middle of extensive clean-up," said Rick Panning, CEO of the North Central Blood Services Region. "It takes time to build the blood supply and likewise the effects from decreasing donations may not be apparent for another few days. But if this trend continues, we could experience a blood shortage in the Midwest. This is an opportunity to help neighbors affected by the devastation by giving blood when they cannot."
Just as Red Cross volunteers from across the country have converged on disaster areas, blood donated through thet American Red Cross can help save lives, wherever that may be. While local hospital needs are always met first, the American Red Cross can move blood products to storm-affected areas experiencing shortfalls if needed.
Eligible donors are encouraged to make a blood donation appointment within the next few days. Call 1-800-GIVE BLOOD (1-800-448-3543) or go online to givebloodgivelife.org to make a blood donation appointment.
A blood donor's card, driver's license or two other forms of identification are required at check-in. Donors need to be at least 17 years old and must weigh at least 110 pounds.
To help with ongoing disaster relief efforts or to register as safe and well, call 1-800-RED-CROSS or visit redcross.org.
Upcoming blood donation opportunities include:
June 23 - noon to 6 p.m. at Calvary Lutheran Church, 605 Douglas Avenue, Alexandria.
June 24 - noon to 6 p.m. at Calvary Lutheran Church, 605 Douglas Avenue, Alexandria.