KDSN RADIO News

Friday, June 14, 2024

Red Cross puts out plea for donors of blood, platelets

Red Cross puts out plea for donors of blood, platelets

Today is World Blood Donor Day as the American Red Cross works to make up from critical shortages of all types of blood and platelets.

Josh Murray, spokesman for the agency’s Nebraska-Iowa region, says the day serves as a way to both thank donors for their contributions and to urge others to donate a pint.

“There’s no other way to manufacture blood, to produce blood for those patients who need it. The only way we can do that is through generous donors,” Murray says. “It’s really time to maybe encourage someone if you haven’t thought about giving, if you’ve given but it’s been a while, maybe this would be a good time to make an appointment and help us out.”

Summertime is often a slow time for donors, but Murray says the last month has been particularly difficult.

“Over the past few weeks, we’ve seen a dip in donations,” Murray says. “I think that has a lot to do with travel time, people are busy with graduations and things have been going on the last month. You also throw in severe weather. We’ve seen it in our area. We’ve seen it around the country where severe weather has impacted blood drives. We either had to cancel drives, or folks just haven’t been able to get out to where they need to go to make their appointments.”

When fewer people donate, less blood is available for hospital patients.

“All blood types are always needed,” he says. “Right now, we’ll say type O is more needed, and that’s often the case, O-positive is the most common blood type, O-negative is the universal blood type. They can use that pretty much on anyone.”

While the Red Cross is a non-profit and doesn’t pay donors for blood, the agency is offering an incentive during June.

“What we have here through the end of the month is an opportunity for a $15 e-gift card to a merchant of your choice, and there are dozens of merchants to choose from,” Murray says. “When you sign up and you show up at the blood drive and you give, you’ll get an email and you’ll be able to select the one you want. It’s a wide variety, from retail stores to restaurants to other goods and services.”

Those e-gift cards are being offered to donors through June 30th. Find a blood center near you by calling 1-800-RED CROSS or by visiting RedCrossBlood.org.

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