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Nation's weather creates bigger need for blood donors

by: SUBMITTED GRAPHIC: AMERICAN RED CROSS - This graphic shows how severe weather disrupted blood donations to the American Red Cross last month.The American Red Cross needs blood and platelet donors to help restock the blood supply this February.

Severe winter weather throughout January and continuing this week across much of the country forced the cancellation of about 770 Red Cross blood drives, resulting in an estimated more than 25,000 uncollected blood and platelet donations.

“Blood products were distributed to hospitals as quickly as the donations came in,” said Daphne Mathew, communications director of the Red Cross Pacific Northwest Blood Services Region. “The extraordinary number of cancellations in January was the equivalent of the Red Cross having to shut down its national operations for more than an entire day.”

Upcoming donation opportunities in Wilsonville include:

  • Feb. 16 from 1 to 5 p.m. at Albertsons, 30299 SW Boones Ferry Road.
  • Feb. 26 from 2 to 6 p.m. at Grace Chapel, 28925 SW Boberg Road.
  • Feb. 27 from 1 to 6:30 p.m. at St. Cyril Catholic Church, 9210 SW Fifth St.
  • March 9 from 11:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. at Fred Meyer 30300 SW Boones Ferry Road.
  • March 29 from 11:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. at Lamb’s Wilsonville Thriftway, 8255 SW Wilsonville Road.
  • Sign up to donate blood by going online to redcrossblood.org/make-donation or by calling 1-800-733-3767.

    On average, the Red Cross must collect about 15,000 units of blood every day for patients at approximately 2,700 hospitals and transfusion centers across the country.

    With additional winter weather already happening or forecast for parts of the country in the next week or two, all blood types are currently needed to ensure a sufficient blood supply is available for patients. Especially needed are blood types O positive, O negative, A negative and B negative.

    Eligible donors with these blood types are strongly encouraged to make an appointment to give in the coming days, Mathew said. Platelets, a key clotting component of blood often needed by cancer patients, must be transfused within five days of donation, so donations are constantly needed.

    Red blood cells, the oxygen-carrying component of blood, are the most widely transfused blood product and must be transfused within 42 days. While weather in this area did not cause problems for blood drives, the Red Cross hopes local blood donors will continue to support patients in need.

    For questions about donating blood, call 1-800-RED CROSS or visit redcrossblood.org to make an appointment or for more information.

    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 (16 with parental consent in some states), 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.



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    • 22 Sep 2014

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