Oct 12, 2021 11:00 AM

Red Cross: Emergency blood shortage; donation opportunities in area

Posted Oct 12, 2021 11:00 AM
The American Red Cross is in great need of donors and is offering multiple opprotunites for persons in the area to donate. 

Photo by&nbsp;<a href="https://unsplash.com/@luannhunt180?utm_source=unsplash&amp;utm_medium=referral&amp;utm_content=creditCopyText">LuAnn Hunt</a>&nbsp;on&nbsp;<a href="https://unsplash.com/s/photos/blood-donation?utm_source=unsplash&amp;utm_medium=referral&amp;utm_content=creditCopyText">Unsplash</a>
The American Red Cross is in great need of donors and is offering multiple opprotunites for persons in the area to donate.  Photo by LuAnn Hunt on Unsplash

WICHITA – The American Red Cross continues to experience an emergency blood shortage that has caused the blood supply to drop to the lowest post-summer level in at least six years.

With less than a day’s supply of certain blood types in recent weeks, the Red Cross asks donors of all blood types – especially type O − to make an appointment to give blood as soon as possible to ensure patients can receive the lifesaving transfusions they rely on. Appointments can be made by using the Red Cross Blood Donor App, visiting RedCrossBlood.org or calling 1-800-RED CROSS (1-800-733-2767).  

Fall is typically a time when the blood supply rebounds from summer blood shortages, but a surge in COVID-19 cases across the U.S. due to the delta variant has contributed to the lowest donor turnout of the year. To shore up inventory, the Red Cross must collect 10,000 additional blood products each week this month to meet hospital and patient needs.

Donors are asked to make an appointment

All those who donate in October will receive a link by email to claim a free Zaxby’s® Signature Sandwich reward or get a $5 e-gift card to a merchant of their choice. Plus, all those who give through Oct. 31 will receive a bonus $5 e-gift card to a merchant of their choice.  Terms and conditions apply. Additional information and details are available at RedCrossBlood.org/Zaxbys.  

Blood donations help those with breast cancer

During Breast Cancer Awareness Month in October, the Red Cross is reminding donors of the importance of blood to those undergoing treatment. According to the National Cancer Institute, roughly 1.9 million people are expected to be diagnosed with cancer in the U.S. this year, and more than 281,000 of those individuals will have breast cancer.

Patients with breast cancer and other cancers may need blood products on a regular basis during chemotherapy, surgery or treatment for complications. In fact, nearly 25% of the blood supply is used by cancer patients. 

People across the country depend on the kindness of blood donors. Donors are urged to make an appointment to give blood or platelets as soon as possible by using the Red Cross Blood Donor App, visiting RedCrossBlood.org or calling 1-800-RED CROSS (1-800-73-2767).

Blood drive safety 

Each Red Cross blood drive and donation center follows the highest standards of safety and infection control, and additional precautions – including face masks for donors and staff, regardless of vaccination status – have been implemented to help protect the health of all those in attendance. Donors are asked to schedule an appointment prior to arriving at the drive. 

Following are upcoming Red Cross blood donation opportunities in the area.

Cloud County

Oct. 21: noon- 6 p.m., Kansas Army National Guard, 2115 Blosser Circle

Jewell County

Oct. 20: noon- 6 p.m., Mankato Community Center, 214 N. High

Lincoln County

Oct. 22: noon- 6 p.m., Christian Community Center, 137 N. 4th Street

Marion County

Oct. 18: 1 p.m. - 6 p.m., Hillsboro Mennonite Brethren Church, 300 Prairie Pointe

McPherson County

Oct. 22: noon- 6 p.m., West Zion Church, 101 S. Washington

Mitchell County

Oct. 29: 9 a.m. - 2 p.m., OCCK-Beloit, 501 W. 7th Street

Ottawa County

Oct. 19: 11:30 a.m. - 5 p.m., Minneapolis Health and Rehabilitation, 815 North Rothsay Avenue

Oct. 19: noon - 6 p.m., Catholic Church, 117 East Vine

Saline County

Oct. 26: noon- 6 p.m., Assaria Lutheran Church, 124 W. First

Oct. 22: 8:30 a.m. - 2:30 p.m., Kansas Wesleyan University John Hauptli Student Center, 100 E. Claflin Ave.

Oct. 26: noon- 6 p.m., Belmont Boulevard Christian, 2508 Belmont Boulevard

Oct. 27: noon- 7 p.m., Sunrise Presbyterian, 825 E. Beloit

Oct. 28: 10 a.m. - 4 p.m., Kansas Highway Patrol, 2025 East Iron

Oct. 28: noon- 6 p.m., The Church of Jesus Christ Latter Day Saints, 845 S. Ohio

Oct. 28: noon- 7 p.m., Sunrise Presbyterian, 825 E. Beloit

Oct. 29: 8:30 a.m. - 2:30 p.m., Sunrise Presbyterian, 825 E. Beloit

Save time during donation

Donors can also save up to 15 minutes at the blood drive by completing a RapidPass®. With RapidPass®, donors complete the pre-donation reading and health history questionnaire online, on the day of donation, from a mobile device or computer. To complete a RapidPass®, follow the instructions at RedCrossBlood.org/RapidPass or use the Red Cross Blood Donor App.

To donate blood, individuals need to bring a blood donor card or driver’s license or two other forms of identification that 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 must meet certain height and weight requirements.

Health insights for donors 

At a time when health information has never been more important, the Red Cross is screening all blood, platelet and plasma donations from self-identified African American donors for the sickle cell trait. This additional screening will provide Black donors with an additional health insight and help the Red Cross identify compatible blood types more quickly to help patients with sickle cell disease who require trait-negative blood. Blood transfusion is an essential treatment for those with sickle cell disease, and blood donations from individuals of the same race, ethnicity and blood type have a unique ability to help patients fighting sickle cell disease.    

Donors can expect to receive sickle cell trait screening results, if applicable, within one to two weeks through the Red Cross Blood Donor App and the online donor portal at RedCrossBlood.org.