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Emergency blood shortage, donors needed now


The American Red Cross is experiencing an emergency blood shortage as the nation faces the lowest number of people giving blood in 20 years. The Red Cross blood supply has fallen to critically low levels across the country, and blood donors are urged to make a donation appointment to help alleviate the shortage and help ensure lifesaving medical procedures are not put on hold.

Over the last 20 years, the number of people donating blood to the Red Cross has fallen by about 40%. When fewer people donate blood, even small disruptions to blood donations — such as the nearly 7,000-unit shortfall in blood donations the Red Cross experienced between Christmas and New Year’s Day alone — can have a huge impact on the availability of blood products and dramatic consequences for those in need of emergency blood transfusion. Blood products are currently going to hospitals faster than blood donations are coming in, and in recent weeks, the Red Cross has had to limit distributions of type O blood products — among the most transfused blood types — to hospitals.

“Small changes in blood donor turnout can have a huge impact on the availability of blood products and dramatic consequences for those in need of an emergency blood transfusion,” said Dr. Eric Gehrie, executive physician director for the Red Cross. “More challenges may lie ahead as the potential for severe winter weather and seasonal illness may compound the dire blood supply situation. Donors of all types — especially those with type O blood and those giving platelets — are urged to give now.”

Don’t wait! To make an appointment, download the Red Cross Blood Donor App, visit RedCrossBlood.org or call 1-800-RED CROSS (1-800-733-2767).

The Red Cross and the National Football League (NFL) are partnering this January, during National Blood Donor Month, to urge individuals to give blood or platelets and help tackle the emergency blood shortage. Those who come to give blood, platelets or plasma in January will automatically be entered for a chance to win a trip for two to Super Bowl LVIII in Las Vegas. For details, visit www.redcrossblood.org/SuperBowl.

Upcoming blood donation opportunities are listed below.

Clinton County
Jan. 17, 12:30 p.m. – 5:30 p.m., Knights of Columbus, 480 North Walnut, Breese.

Franklin County
Jan. 18, 12:30 p.m. – 5:30 p.m., St. Paul Lutheran Church, 1 West Frankfort Plaza, West Frankfort.

Jefferson County
Jan. 19, 12 p.m. – 4 p.m., Tri County Electric Coop, 3906 W. Broadway, Mount Vernon.
Jan. 22, 12 p.m. – 5 p.m., Rolland Lewis Community Building, South 27th Street, Mount Vernon.
Jan. 22, 1 p.m. – 5 p.m., Free Will Baptist Church, 3rd and Elm Street, Ina.
Jan. 25, 12 p.m. – 5 p.m., Central Christian Church, 314 North 12th Street, Mount Vernon.
Jan. 26, 9 a.m. – 3 p.m., Mount Vernon High School, 11101 North Wells ByPass, Mount Vernon.
Jan. 26, 1 p.m. – 5 p.m., West Salem Trinity Church, 4212 Broadway, Mount Vernon.
Jan. 29, 1 p.m. – 5 p.m., YMCA of Jefferson County, 2424 Broadway St., Mount Vernon.
Jan. 30, 9:30 a.m. – 1:30 p.m., Rend Lake College, 468 North Kengray Parkway, Ina.

Marion County
Jan. 17, Centralia Community drive, from 12-5, in the Calumet Street Christian Church gym
Jan. 19, Central City Elementary School drive, from 2-6, in the Central City Elementary School gym
Jan. 25, Jordan Elementary School drive, from 2-6, in the Jordan Elementary School gym
Jan. 29, Salem FBC blood drive, from 1-5, in the Salem FBC fellowship hall
Jan. 31, Battle of the Badges Centralia, from 12-5, in the Centralia American Legion Hall

Washington County
Jan. 24, 2 p.m. – 6 p.m., Ashley Community Building, 660 East Main Street, Ashley.

January Promo: Come give Jan. 1 through 31 for a chance at a trip for two to Super Bowl LVIII in Vegas! For more information go to rcblood.org/SuperBowl.

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