Blood drives announced for early December
As many look ahead at a busy holiday season, the American Red Cross encourages eligible donors across the country to harness their humanity by giving blood or platelets in the coming weeks.
As a result of low blood donor turnout in recent months, the Red Cross is heading into the holidays with its lowest blood supply in more than a decade at this time of year, according to a press release.
The ongoing effects of COVID-19 and a summer spike in delta variant cases significantly challenged the nation’s blood supply heading into the fall.
The pandemic also resulted in fewer blood drives at schools and colleges, contributing to a 34% drop in new blood donors from last year − one of the largest year-to-year decreases and one that could threaten essential medical care for patients.
Locally, the Missouri-Arkansas Red Cross Region has experienced a 13.4% decrease in new blood donors this year, the Red Cross reports.
Information has been released on upcoming blood donation opportunities and as a thank-you, all those who come to give Nov. 29-Dec. 16 will be automatically entered for a chance to win a private screening for the winner and 50 of their guests of the new film The Matrix Resurrections. Plus, those who come to give Nov. 29-Dec. 16 will also get a $10 Amazon.com Gift Card by email, thanks to Amazon.
Upcoming local events are:
Dec. 14, 2-6 p.m., Neelyville High School, 289 Broadway
Dec. 13, 11:30 a.m. - 3:30 p.m., FCC Behavioral Health, 3001 Warrior Lane
Dec. 14, 1:30-5:30 p.m., First United Methodist Church, 500 N. Main St.
Dec. 14, 1:30-5:30 p.m., Poplar Bluff Elks Lodge, 6653 Highway 67 North
Dec. 15, 12:30-5:30 p.m., Campbell Community Center, 705 West Grand Ave.
Dec. 8, 1:30-5:30 p.m., Southland High School, 500 S. Main
Dec. 8, 1:30-5:30 p.m., Clarkton High School, Highway 162
Dec. 2, 1- 5:30 p.m., Malden High School, 600 W. Burkhart
Dec. 16, 1:30-5:30 p.m., Malden Nutrition Center, 117 W. Main St.
Dec. 13, 1:30-5:30 p.m., First Baptist Church, 300 S. Second St.
Dec. 13, 12:30-5:30 p.m., Sacred Heart Catholic Church, 102 E. Castor
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.
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.
How to donate blood
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.