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Fight national blood and platelet shortage


The American Red Cross continues to experience a national blood and platelet shortage and asks the public to book a time to give as soon as possible. Donors of all blood types are urgently needed, especially type O blood donors and those giving platelets. The Red Cross offers three ways to make a donation appointment that can help save lives: Download the Red Cross Blood Donor App, visit RedCrossBlood.org, or call 1-800-RED CROSS (1-800-733-2767).

The Red Cross experienced a significant blood and platelet donation shortfall in August, contributing to the current blood shortage. To ensure the blood supply recovers, the Red Cross must collect 10,000 additional blood products each week over the next month to meet hospital and patient needs.

“When blood and platelet supplies drop to critical levels, it makes hospitals and the patients they are treating vulnerable — especially if there is a major accident or emergency medical procedure that requires large quantities of blood during a disaster,” said Dr. Baia Lasky, medical director for the Red Cross. “A single car accident victim can use as much as 100 units of blood. By making and keeping donation appointments, donors can help keep hospital shelves stocked with blood products and ensure patients have access to the timely care they deserve.”

As a thank-you, those who come to give Oct. 1-20, 2023, will receive a $15 Amazon.com Gift Card by email. Details are available at RedCrossBlood.org/Together.

Unique challenges to blood supply: In late summer, the Red Cross national blood supply dropped by about 25% on the heels of one of the busiest travel seasons and the beginning of back-to-school activities. As people settle back into fall school and work routines, a unique challenge to the blood supply remains — many employees continue to work from home or in a hybrid capacity, reducing the number of opportunities to give blood at business-sponsored blood drives. In fact, before the COVID-19 pandemic, more than 800,000 blood donations were made at blood drives hosted by businesses. Last year, the Red Cross saw only about 500,000 blood donations at these locations — a nearly 40% drop from pre-pandemic levels.

This, coupled with an active disaster season, is creating a perfect “storm” and challenging the organization’s ability to collect a sufficient amount of blood products to meet the needs of hospitals across the country.

The Red Cross provides community blood drives and donation centers across the Missouri-Arkansas Region. Those who may have previously given at a local business blood drive are encouraged to book a time to give at one of these locations by downloading the Red Cross Blood Donor App, visiting RedCrossBlood.org or calling 1-800-RED CROSS (1-800-733-2767).

Upcoming blood donation opportunities are listed below.


Clinton County
Oct. 10, 12 p.m. – 5 p.m., St. John’s United Church of Christ, 21 North Walnut, Trenton.
Oct. 10, 2 p.m. – 6 p.m., Damiansville Elementary School, 101 East Main Street, Damiansville.
Oct. 17, 8:30 a.m. – 1:30 p.m., Carlyle High School, 1461 12th street, Carlyle.
Oct. 17, 2:30 p.m. – 6:30 p.m., Germantown School District 60, 401 Walnut, Germantown.
Oct. 19, 12 p.m. – 5 p.m., St. Rose Development Club, 8004 S. First Street, Saint Rose.

Franklin County
Oct. 4, 12 p.m. – 5 p.m., Franklin Hospital, 201 Bailey Lane, Benton.
Oct. 20, 1 p.m. – 5 p.m., Frankfort Intermediate School, 800 North Cherry, West Frankfort.

Jefferson County
Oct. 4, 12 p.m. – 5 p.m., First Baptist Church, 301 North Central Street, Woodlawn.
Oct. 5, 8:30 a.m. – 1:30 p.m., Crossroads Community Hospital, 8 Doctors Park Road, Mount Vernon.
Oct. 19, 9 a.m. – 3 p.m., Mount Vernon High School, 11101 North Wells ByPass, Mount Vernon.
Oct. 19, 2 p.m. – 6 p.m., Opdyke Belle Rive School District, 19380 East Fourth Street, Opdyke.

Marion County
Oct. 6, 1 p.m. – 5 p.m., St. Theresa of Avila Catholic Church Parish Center, 812 West Main, Salem.
Oct. 10, 1 p.m. – 5 p.m., Crossroads Church, 340 Walnut Hill Rd., Centralia.
Oct. 11, 12 p.m. – 5 p.m., Patoka High School, 1220 Kinoka Road, Patoka.
Oct. 18, 12 p.m. – 5 p.m., Community Building Salem, 416 Oglesby, Salem.
Oct. 20, 12 p.m. – 5 p.m., Kinmundy Community Center, 104 W. 3rd St., Kinmundy.

To donate blood, 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.

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