American Red Cross urges public to give blood now

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The American Red Cross is urging the public to give blood now to help overcome a severe winter blood shortage, which is being compounded by ongoing winter weather. Blood donations are currently being distributed to hospitals faster than they are coming in.

According to the American Red Cross, since December 1, about 300 blood drives across 27 states have been force to cancel due to inclement winter weather, resulting in more than 10,500 blood and platelet donations going uncollected. Despite the weather, hospital patients still rely on transfusions.

Jim Taylor, a blood donor who knows how it feels to have a loved one waiting for a transfusion, says, “When the Red Cross says there is a shortage, they are not exaggerating.”

Jim’s son Aaron was born with a rare liver condition. In the short two months of his life, he received 115 blood products. Jim says each transfusion gave his family more time with his son, so he encourages others to give.

“I know from experience that what they are saying is somewhere there is a father waiting on the donation that will save his son’s life When the Red Cross asks for help, what that means is a new dad is praying for a miracle,” says Jim.

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.

To make an appointment to give blood, download the Red Cross Blood Donor App, visit redcrossblood.org or call 1-800-Red-Cross. To save time, donors can make appointments and complete the Rapid Pass online health history questionnaire at redcrossblood.org/rapidpass.

The American Red Cross supplies about 40 percent of the nation’s blood. It’s a not-for-profit organization that depends on volunteers and the generosity of the public to perform its mission. For more information, visit redcross.org.

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