Red Cross Issues Emergency Call for Blood Donors

A donation shortfall over the winter holidays is prompting the American Red Cross to issue an emergency call for blood donors to give now to prevent a blood shortage from continuing throughout winter and affecting patient care.

The Red Cross collected more than 27,000 fewer blood donations the weeks of Christmas and New Year’s than needed to sustain a sufficient blood supply. During this period, about 1,350 fewer blood drives were hosted by volunteer sponsor groups than required to meet patient needs as busy holiday schedules kept many donors away.

“Many people may not realize that blood products are perishable, and the only source of lifesaving blood for patients is volunteer blood donors,” said Cliff Numark, senior vice president, Red Cross Biomedical Services. “When donations decline – as they did around the holidays and may further decline if severe winter weather and flu season pick up – lifesaving medical treatments could be delayed.”

Right now, the Red Cross has less than a three-day supply of most blood types on hand, well below the ideal five-day supply needed to respond to emergencies and daily hospital needs. Blood products are currently being distributed to hospitals faster than donations are coming in.

“We hope people can resolve to save lives now – when there is an emergency need – as well as throughout the year,” added Numark.

All eligible donors, especially blood donors with type O blood, are urged to make an appointment to give in the coming days to help restock the shelves for hospital patients. 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). Volunteer blood drive hosts are also critically needed to prevent the shortage from worsening this winter.

With several weeks of winter ahead, severe winter weather poses an additional threat to an already low blood supply. Snow, ice and extreme temperatures last January and February forced hundreds of blood drive cancellations, causing about 23,000 blood donations to go uncollected. In December, winter weather resulted in nearly twice the number of uncollected blood and platelet donations as December 2017.

In May 2018, 4-year-old Branson Gibby was diagnosed with neuroblastoma, a rare type of childhood cancer that affects certain types of nerve tissue after complaining of pain in his arms and legs and running a fever. After many tests, his mother, Erica Austin, was given the news that no mother ever wants to hear: her son had cancer.

Branson’s 18-month treatment plan includes many rounds of grueling chemotherapy, surgery to remove the tumor near his kidney and spinal cord, stem cell transplants, and possibly radiation. He has already endured several lengthy hospital stays and began receiving the first of his stem cell transplants this fall.

Since his diagnosis, Branson has received 12 blood and 11 platelet transfusions. Of the transfusions, Austin said, “They have been so important to keep him as healthy, active and battle-ready, as possible. This is the hardest thing our family has ever faced. However, there is hope in the generosity of strangers who are helping to heal my brave boy. Blood and platelet donations truly are the gift of life.”

 

 

Upcoming blood donation opportunities Jan. 14-Feb. 15
_______________

Collin

Allen

1/19/2019: 8 a.m. - 2 p.m., The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, 1404 East Main Street
1/21/2019: 1 p.m. - 7 p.m., Holiday Inn Express, 205 Central Expressway N
1/30/2019: 8 a.m. - 2 p.m., PFS, 505 Millennium Dr
2/11/2019: 1 p.m. - 6:30 p.m., ASI Gymnastics, 1280 Central Expry North

Frisco

2/5/2019: 9 a.m. - 3 p.m., Frisco Community, 11000 Eldorado Parkway

McKinney

1/22/2019: 12 p.m. - 6 p.m., American Red Cross Dallas Chapter McKinney Branch, 1450 Red Bud Blvd
2/11/2019: 1 p.m. - 7 p.m., American Red Cross McKinney Chapter, 1450 Red Bud Blvd

Plano

1/25/2019: 10 a.m. - 4 p.m., Baylor Scott & White Medical Center at Plano, 4700 Alliance Blvd.
2/14/2019: 9 a.m. - 3 p.m., CH Robinson, Worldwide, 8454 Parkwood Blvd, Suite 200

Wylie

2/15/2019: 9 a.m. - 3 p.m., Wylie High School, 2550 W.FM 544
_______________

Dallas

Coppell

2/12/2019: 9 a.m. - 3 p.m., New Tech High School at Coppell, 113 Samuel Blvd
2/15/2019: 10 a.m. - 4 p.m., AMN Healthcare, 8840 Cypress Waters

Dallas

1/13/2019: 7:30 a.m. - 1:30 p.m., Church of the Incarnation, 3966 McKinney Avenue
1/14/2019: 11:30 a.m. - 5 p.m., American Red Cross - Dallas Chapter BUS, 4800 Harry Hines
1/15/2019: 10 a.m. - 4 p.m., Trammell Crow Center, 2010 Flora Street
1/15/2019: 1 p.m. - 7 p.m., The Fairways at Prestonwood Apartments, 5769 Belt Line Rd.
1/18/2019: 8 a.m. - 2 p.m., Foundry Commercial, 8144 Walnut Hill Ln.
1/25/2019: 9 a.m. - 3 p.m., Uplift Peak Preparatory, 4600 Bryan Street
1/27/2019: 11 a.m. - 5 p.m., American Red Cross Dallas Chapter, 4800 Harry Hines Blvd
2/7/2019: 10 a.m. - 4 p.m., Tollway Plaza II South, 15950 Dallas Parkway
2/8/2019: 9 a.m. - 3 p.m., Target, 6419 Skillman Street

Desoto

1/15/2019: 9 a.m. - 3 p.m., Desoto High School, 600 Eagle Drive
1/18/2019: 9 a.m. - 3 p.m., Desoto Recreation Center, 211 E. Pleasant Run Road
1/23/2019: 9 a.m. - 3 p.m., Solar Turbines, 215 E Centre Park Blvd.

Farmers Branch

2/2/2019: 10 a.m. - 4 p.m., McDonald's Midway Rd - Farmer's Branch, 13950 Midway Rd, Farmers Branch

Garland

1/17/2019: 9 a.m. - 3 p.m., Jack L. May Field Operations Complex, 2343 Forest Lane
1/18/2019: 9 a.m. - 3 p.m., International Leadership of Texas High School, 4413 N Shiloh Rd
2/9/2019: 9 a.m. - 2 p.m., Harmony School Of Innovation, 2302 Firewheel Pkwy
2/9/2019: 9 a.m. - 3 p.m., North Garland High School, 2109 Buckingham Rd.

Grand Prairie

1/16/2019: 9 a.m. - 3 p.m., Grand Prairie Collegiate School, 1502 College Street
2/5/2019: 9 a.m. - 3 p.m., Arlington Career Institute, 901 Ave. K
2/7/2019: 9 a.m. - 3 p.m., Immaclate Conception School, 610 NE 17th Street

Hutchins

1/25/2019: 9 a.m. - 2 p.m., ADESA, 3501 North Lancaster Hutchins Blvd

Irving

1/29/2019: 11:30 a.m. - 5:30 p.m., Aviation Institute of Maintenance, 400 E Airport
2/5/2019: 9 a.m. - 3 p.m., American College of Emergency Physicians, 4950 West Royal Lane
2/15/2019: 11 a.m. - 5 p.m., YARDI, 8616 Freeport Parkway, Suite 300

Mesquite

1/26/2019: 10 a.m. - 4 p.m., Parkside Baptist Church, 1729 Gross Rd.
1/30/2019: 10 a.m. - 4 p.m., Lowe's, 4444 N. Galloway
2/13/2019: 10 a.m. - 4 p.m., Eastfield College -Building C, 3737 Motley Dr.

Richardson

1/21/2019: 10 a.m. - 4 p.m., McDonald's Campbell Rd. In Richardson, 170 W. Campbell Rd.
_______________

Denton

Denton

1/18/2019: 9 a.m. - 3 p.m., Toyota Denton, 4100 S. I-35 E. Frontage Rd.
1/19/2019: 9 a.m. - 3 p.m., St. Andrew Presbyterian Church, 300 West Oak Street
1/24/2019: 9 a.m. - 3 p.m., Billy Ryan High School, 5101 E. McKinney St.

Flower Mound

1/14/2019: 1 p.m. - 7 p.m., First Baptist Church, 1901 Timber Creek Rd
2/12/2019: 2 p.m. - 8 p.m., Young Life High School, 1901 Timber Creek Road

Frisco

1/22/2019: 9 a.m. - 3 p.m., AmerisourceBergen Frisco, 3101 Gaylord Pkwy
2/10/2019: 9 a.m. - 3 p.m., Frisco Fresh Market, 9215 John W Elliott Drive

Krum

1/19/2019: 10 a.m. - 4 p.m., Krum Public Library, 815 E McCart St

Lewisville

1/21/2019: 9 a.m. - 3 p.m., Auto Nation Nissan Lewisville, 1601 S. Stemmons Fwy.
2/6/2019: 10 a.m. - 4 p.m., Texas Waste Management, 520 E Corporate Drive, Suite 100

Little Elm

1/26/2019: 9 a.m. - 3 p.m., Lowe's Store 2567, 2773 East El Dorado
1/31/2019: 9 a.m. - 3 p.m., Retractable Tech, 511 Lobo Lane
_______________

Grimes

Navasota

2/12/2019: 11:30 a.m. - 5:30 p.m., First United Methodist Church, 616 Holland
_______________

Hill

Whitney

2/8/2019: 9 a.m. - 3 p.m., Whitney High School, 1400 N. Brazos
_______________

Johnson

Burleson

2/1/2019: 1 p.m. - 6 p.m., Burleson Honda, 632 North Burleson Blvd.
2/11/2019: 12 p.m. - 6 p.m., Lowe's Burleson, 920 N. Burleson Blvd.

Rio Vista

2/13/2019: 8:30 a.m. - 2:30 p.m., Rio Vista High School, 100 Eagle Drive
_______________

Kaufman

Forney

2/6/2019: 9 a.m. - 3:30 p.m., Forney High School, 800 FM 741 S
_______________


Navarro

Corsicana

1/31/2019: 9 a.m. - 3 p.m., Mildred High School, 5475 S HWY 287
_______________

Tarrant

Arlington

1/16/2019: 12 p.m. - 6 p.m., My Computer Career, 1701 E Lamar Blvd
1/18/2019: 12 p.m. - 6 p.m., Lowe's - Arlington, 1000 W. Arbrook Blvd.
2/8/2019: 12 p.m. - 6 p.m., Kids R Kids, 600 Debbie Ln

Bedford

2/2/2019: 8 a.m. - 2 p.m., YMCA Airport Area, 3524 Central Drive

Colleyville

2/7/2019: 9 a.m. - 3 p.m., Colleyville Heritage High School, 5401 Heritage Ave.

Fort Worth

1/13/2019: 8 a.m. - 2 p.m., Immaculate Heart of Mary Catholic Church, 201 Thornhill Dr
1/14/2019: 1 p.m. - 6 p.m., Lowe's Store 2546, 1111 Eastchase Pkwy
1/15/2019: 9 a.m. - 3 p.m., Alpha Phi Omega, 2720 S University Drive
1/20/2019: 9 a.m. - 3 p.m., Our Lady of Guadalupe, 4100 Blue Mound Rd
1/27/2019: 10 a.m. - 4 p.m., Now Faith Christian Outreach Center, 3120 E. Lancaster Avenue
1/29/2019: 10:30 a.m. - 4:30 p.m., Fort Worth Academy of Fine Arts, 3901 S. Hulen St.
2/3/2019: 9 a.m. - 3 p.m., St. Thomas the Apostle Catholic Church, 5969 Bowman Roberts Rd.
2/10/2019: 8:30 a.m. - 2 p.m., Mount Olive Missionary Baptist, 2951 Evans Ave
2/14/2019: 8 a.m. - 2 p.m., Medical City Alliance, 3101 N. Tarrant Parkway

Grapevine

1/17/2019: 10 a.m. - 4 p.m., DealerBuilt, 1225 S. Main Street, STE 201
2/3/2019: 10 a.m. - 4 p.m., Bass Pro Shop Grapevine, 2501 Bass Pro Drive

Hurst

1/20/2019: 12 p.m. - 6 p.m., Lowe's Hurst, 770 Grapevine Hwy
1/29/2019: 10 a.m. - 4 p.m., Trusted ER Hurst, 824 Airport Fwy

Keller

1/20/2019: 11 a.m. - 5 p.m., Lowe's of Keller, 600 North Tarrant Parkway

Mansfield

1/19/2019: 12 p.m. - 6 p.m., Life Time Fitness, 1551 Debbie Lane

Southlake

1/23/2019: 9 a.m. - 3 p.m., Keller Williams, 2106 E State Highway 114, Suite 101
_______________

Wise

Decatur

2/8/2019: 8 a.m. - 2 p.m., Decatur High School, 750 E Eagle Summit Drive



How to donate blood

Simply download the American Red Cross Blood Donor App, visit RedCrossBlood.org or call 1-800-RED CROSS (1-800-733-2767) to make an appointment or for more information. All blood types are needed to ensure a reliable supply for patients. 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.

Blood and platelet donors can save time at their next donation by using RapidPass® to complete their pre-donation reading and health history questionnaire online, on the day of their donation, before arriving at the blood drive. To get started, follow the instructions at RedCrossBlood.org/RapidPass or use the Blood Donor App.

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, please visit RedCross.org or CruzRojaAmericana.org

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