Bad weather means fewer blood donations; here are your opportunities to give

The American Red Cross reports that severe winter weather has had a tremendous impact on blood donations, with more than 150 recent blood drives forced to cancel, causing over 5,500 blood and platelet donations to go uncollected. This is in addition to seasonal illnesses, such as the flu, and hectic holiday schedules collectively contributing to more than 28,000 fewer donations than what was needed in November and December. In Indiana, the Red Cross has seen a shortfall of more than 1,400 blood donations.

While serving local hospitals is the first priority, the Red Cross can move blood products to where they’re needed most. This allows donors throughout the country to contribute to the national blood supply and potentially help patients locally and in storm-affected areas.

While all blood types are urgently needed, there is a more critical need for the following blood and donation types right now:

  • Type O negative: The blood type that can be transfused to almost everyone and is what doctors reach for in trauma situations.
  • Type B negative: The blood type that can be transfused to type B Rh-positive and negative patients.
  • Type AB: The plasma type that can be transfused to almost everyone and can be donated through a platelet or plasma donation, where available, or during a regular blood donation.

Eligible donors can 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). Donation appointments and completion of a RapidPass are encouraged to help speed up the donation process. RapidPass lets donors complete the pre-donation reading and answer the health history questionnaire online, on the day of their donation, by visiting redcrossblood.org/rapidpass from the convenience of a mobile device or computer, or through the Blood Donor App.

Here are upcoming blood drives in LaPorte County:

LaPorte

1/12/2018: 2:30 p.m. – 6:30 p.m., Kingsbury Elementary School, 802 W 400 South

1/16/2018: 1 p.m. – 6 p.m., Bethany Lutheran Church, 102 G St.

1/18/2018: 10 a.m. – 3 p.m., Seventh Day Adventist LaPorte, 1480 Boyd Blvd.

Michigan City

1/29/2018: 11:30 a.m. – 3:30 p.m., Ivy Tech Community College, 3714 Franklin St.

Rolling Prairie

1/22/2018: 1 p.m. – 6 p.m., St. John Kanty, 7012 North 600 East

Union Mills

1/28/2018: 9:30 a.m. – 1:30 p.m., Conservation Club House, 1 Mill Pond Road

Wanatah

1/24/2018: 1:30 p.m. – 6:30 p.m., Wanatah Christian Church, U.S. 30 and 1100 W

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