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Red Cross calls for healthy blood donors following severe weather

Red Cross calls for healthy blood donors following severe weather

Bill Stephens

February 22nd, 2021

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(Feb. 22, 2021) — Record-breaking cold and winter storms across much of the U.S. have had a significant impact on blood and platelet donations. The American Red Cross is urging healthy individuals, especially those with type O blood, to give now to ensure blood products are available for patient emergencies.

Extreme winter weather has forced the cancellation of hundreds of Red Cross blood drives in 30 states, causing more than 15,000 blood and platelet donations to go uncollected. In the River Valley Blood Services Region which includes Central Kentucky and Southern Indiana, over 700 blood and platelet donations have gone uncollected as more than 25 blood drives canceled across the region.

Every day thousands of patients rely on lifesaving blood donations. The need for blood is constant, even during snowstorms and the COVID-19 pandemic. To help ensure lifesaving patient care isn’t impacted, individuals are urged to make appointments to donate in the coming days and weeks by downloading the Red Cross Blood Donor App, visiting RedCrossBlood.org, calling 1-800-RED CROSS (1-800-733-2767) or enabling the Blood Donor Skill on any Alexa Echo device.

Tina Rocco knows firsthand how important it is to have blood on hospital shelves. After welcoming baby Gemma by cesarean section, she began hemorrhaging and was rushed into the operating room. “I was later told it was several pints of blood and an amazing doctor that saved my life,” Rocco said. “That allowed me to hold my first daughter and go home all together as a family of three.”

Before that day, Rocco did not know anyone who needed a blood transfusion. Now, this grateful mother says, “You truly never know when you, or someone you love might need it.”

Important COVID-19 information for donors

The Red Cross is testing blood, platelet and plasma donations for COVID-19 antibodies. The test may indicate if the donor’s immune system has produced antibodies to this coronavirus, regardless of whether an individual developed COVID-19 symptoms. Red Cross antibody tests will be helpful to identify individuals who have COVID-19 antibodies and may now help current coronavirus patients in need of convalescent plasma transfusions. Convalescent plasma is a type of blood donation collected from COVID-19 survivors that have antibodies that may help patients who are actively fighting the virus. Plasma from whole blood donations that test positive for high levels of COVID-19 antibodies may be used to help COVID-19 patients. 

COVID-19 antibody test results will be available within one to two weeks in the Red Cross Blood Donor App or donor portal at RedCrossBlood.org. A positive antibody test result does not confirm infection or immunity. The Red Cross is not testing donors to diagnose illness, referred to as a diagnostic test. To protect the health and safety of Red Cross staff and donors, it is important that individuals who do not feel well or believe they may be ill with COVID-19 postpone donation.

Each Red Cross blood drive and donation center follows the highest standards of safety and infection control, and additional precautions – including temperature checks, social distancing and face coverings for donors and staff – 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 and are required to wear a face covering or mask while at the drive, in alignment with Centers for Disease Control and Prevention public guidance.

Upcoming blood donation opportunities Feb. 22-March 15

American Legion Hall, 425 South Main St. Ferdinand, IN 47532

2/22/2021: 2 p.m. – 7 p.m.

American Red Cross Southwestern Indiana Chapter, 29 South Stockwell Road Evansville, IN 47714

2/22/2021: 10 a.m. – 4 p.m.

2/23/2021: 10 a.m. – 4 p.m.

2/24/2021: 10 a.m. – 4 p.m.

2/25/2021: 10 a.m. – 4 p.m.

2/26/2021: 10 a.m. – 3 p.m.

3/1/2021: 10 a.m. – 4 p.m.

3/2/2021: 10 a.m. – 4 p.m.

3/8/2021: 10 a.m. – 4 p.m.

3/12/2021: 10 a.m. – 4 p.m.

3/15/2021: 10 a.m. – 4 p.m.

Christian Fellowship Church, 4100 Millersburg Road Evansville, IN  47725

3/7/2021: 7:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m.

Daviess County Sheriff’s Department, 101 NE 4th St. Washington, IN 47501

3/15/2021: 12:30 p.m. – 4:30 p.m.

Dubois Community Park Center, 5430 E Jasper Dubois Road Dubois, IN 47527

3/2/2021: 1 p.m. – 6 p.m.

Elberfeld Elementary, 45 S Fifth St. Elberfeld, IN 47613

3/5/2021: 4 p.m. – 8 p.m.

Evansville Blood Donation Center, 29 North Stockwell Road Evansville, IN 47714

2/22/2021: 12:15 p.m. – 7:15 p.m.

2/23/2021: 12:15 p.m. – 7:15 p.m.

2/24/2021: 12:15 p.m. – 7:15 p.m.

2/26/2021: 7:45 a.m. – 3 p.m.

2/27/2021: 7:45 a.m. – 2:45 p.m.

3/1/2021: 12:15 p.m. – 7:15 p.m.

3/2/2021: 12:15 p.m. – 7:15 p.m.

3/3/2021: 12:15 p.m. – 7:15 p.m.

3/5/2021: 7:45 a.m. – 3 p.m.

3/6/2021: 7:45 a.m. – 2:45 p.m.

3/8/2021: 12:15 p.m. – 7:15 p.m.

3/9/2021: 12:15 p.m. – 7:15 p.m.

3/10/2021: 12:15 p.m. – 7:15 p.m.

3/12/2021: 7:45 a.m. – 3 p.m.

3/13/2021: 7:45 a.m. – 2:45 p.m.

3/15/2021: 12:15 p.m. – 7:15 p.m.

3/20/2021: 7:45 a.m. – 2:45 p.m.

Evansville Fraternal Order of Police, 801 Court St. Evansville, IN 47708

3/2/2021: 11 a.m. – 4 p.m.

Faith Free Will Baptist Church, 303 North 5th St. Chandler, IN 47610

3/4/2021: 3 p.m. – 7 p.m.

Friedman Park Event Center, 2700 Park Blvd. Newburgh, IN 47630

3/1/2021: 1 p.m. – 6 p.m.

Gibson General Hospital, 1808 Sherman Drive Princeton, IN 47670

3/5/2021: noon – 4 p.m.

GRADD, 300 Gradd Way Owensboro, KY 42301

2/26/2021: 11 a.m. – 4 p.m.

Holy Family Cathoic Church, 950 E. Church Ave. Jasper, IN 47549

3/15/2021: 2 p.m. – 6 p.m.

Knights of Columbus, 313 West Broadway Princeton, IN 47670

3/1/2021: 2 p.m. – 6 p.m.

Oakland City Community Center, 1210 West Morton St. Oakland City, IN  47660

3/5/2021: 1 p.m. – 6 p.m.

Perry County Memorial, 331 Main St. Tell City, IN 47586

2/24/2021: 9 a.m. – 2 p.m.

Poseyville Community Center, 60 N. Church St. Poseyville, IN 47633

2/24/2021: 2:30 p.m. – 6:30 p.m.

Santa Claus United Methodist Church, 351 North Holiday Boulevard Santa Claus, IN 47579

3/1/2021: 1 p.m. – 6 p.m.

Schergens Center, 1235 31st St. Tell City, IN 47586

3/2/2021: 2 p.m. – 7 p.m.

St. Joseph Catholic Church, 6130 West St Joseph Road Evansville, IN 47720

2/28/2021: 8 a.m. – noon

St. Nicholas Catholic Church, 180 North Holiday Blvd. Santa Claus, IN 47579

3/14/2021: 8 a.m. – noon

St. Paul Lutheran Church, 556 W. Haysville Road Jasper, IN 47546

3/4/2021: 1 p.m. – 6 p.m.

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints Tell City, 8480 Dauby Lane Tell City, IN 47586

3/3/2021: 2 p.m. – 7 p.m.

Trinity Assembly of God, 440 Airline Road Morganfield, KY 42437

2/23/2021: 2 p.m. – 6 p.m.

About blood donation

Simply download the American Red Cross Blood Donor App, visit  RedCrossBlood.org, call 1-800-RED CROSS (1-800-733-2767) or enable the Blood Donor Skill on any Alexa Echo device 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.

About the American Red Cross

The American Red Cross shelters, feeds and provides emotional support to victims of disasters; supplies about 40% 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, or visit us on Twitter at @RedCross.

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