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January 11--  This is National Blood Donor Month and the American Red Cross has an urgent need for blood and platelet donors of all blood types to make an appointment to give now and help address a winter blood donation shortage.

Severe winter weather has had a tremendous impact on blood donations already this year, with more than 150 blood drives forced to cancel causing over 5,500 blood and platelet donations to go uncollected. This is in addition to seasonal illnesses, such as the flu, and hectic holiday schedules collectively contributing to more than 28,000 fewer donations than needed in November and December.

In the Southern Blood Services Region, which covers Georgia and parts of Florida and South Carolina, 12 blood drives were forced to cancel due to last week’s winter storm, causing nearly 250 donations to go uncollected.

“Even temporary disruptions to blood and platelet donations can diminish the availability for hospital patients,” said Clifford Numark, senior vice president, Red Cross Blood Services. “It’s the blood on the shelves that helps save lives in an emergency, and that’s why we’re asking eligible individuals to make an appointment to give blood or platelets today.”

While all blood types are urgently needed, there is a more critical need for the following blood and donation types right now:

  • Platelets: The clotting portion of blood primarily given to cancer patients during treatment and always in great demand.
  • Type O negative: The blood type that can be transfused to almost everyone and is what doctors reach for in trauma situations.
  • Type B negative: The blood type that can be transfused to type B Rh-positive and negative patients.
  • Type AB: The plasma type that can be transfused to almost everyone and can be donated through a platelet or plasma donation, where available, or during a regular blood donation.

How to help

Eligible donors can find a blood or platelet donation opportunity and schedule an appointment to donate by using the free Blood Donor App, visiting or calling 1-800-RED CROSS (1-800-733-2767). Donation appointments and completion of a RapidPass are encouraged to help speed up the donation process. RapidPass lets donors complete the pre-donation reading and answer the health history questionnaire online, on the day of their donation, by visiting from the convenience of a mobile device or computer, or through the Blood Donor App.

Here are where Bloodmobiles are scheduled in our area this month.

1/15/2018: 1 - 6 p.m., Metter Community Center, 435 N. Rountree St., Metter

1/16/2018: 1 - 6 p.m., Higgston Baptist Church, 512 James St., Ailey

1/19/2018: 12 - 6 p.m., Grace Community Presbyterian Church, 274 S. Washington St., Lyons

1/24/2018: 10 a.m. - 4 p.m., Vidalia High School, 1001 North St. West, Vidalia

1/25/2018: 8:30 a.m. - 2:30 p.m., Jeff Davis High School, 156 Collins St., Hazlehurst

1/30/2018: 1 - 6 p.m., First Baptist Church, 321 West Barnard St., Glennville









For staff use only.