Red Cross urges donors to help replenish blood supply this winter

Submitted by Samantha Pollard

The American Red Cross continues to have a winter blood donation shortage after severe winter weather in many parts of the country has now forced more than 500 blood drives to cancel, already causing about 15,000 blood and platelet donations to go uncollected through last week. Blood and platelet donors are urgently needed to give now to help restock the shelves.

Donors of all blood types are essential to help maintain an adequate blood supply for patients in their own communities, as well as areas where donors are unable to give due to inclement weather. Every day, no matter the weather, the Red Cross must collect more than 13,000 blood and platelet donations to meet the needs of patients like Finnegan “Finn” Olson.

Last January, Finn was born with a rare heart condition. He required multiple transfusions before, during and after heart transplant surgery last summer.

“Each time Finn received a transfusion, you could see him pink up right away and have significantly more energy,” said his mother, Ali Olson. “We credit blood donation with making Finn stronger and helping keep him alive long enough to receive a new heart. Finn is living proof that blood helps save lives.”

Blood donors, especially those with types O negative, B negative and AB blood, and platelet donors are needed now and throughout the winter months to ensure blood products are readily available for patients 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

Make an appointment to give blood by downloading the free Red Cross Blood Donor App, visiting redcrossblood.org or calling 1-800-RED CROSS (1-800-733-2767).

Upcoming blood donation opportunities are as follows:

Nemaha county

Wetmore: 1:30 to 7 p.m. Wednesday, Feb. 7, at Wetmore High School, 321 Sixth Street in Wetmore.

Baileyville: 1 to 6 p.m. Monday, Feb. 5, at Highland Community College, 313 Nemaha Street in Highland.

Marshall County

Axtell: noon to 6 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 15, at the Community Building/Legion Hall, 207 Fifth Street in Axtell.

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The Sabetha Herald has been serving Sabetha since 1876.

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