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Red Cross to host blood drives in response to shortage

November 22, 2018

The American Red Cross has issued an immediate call for blood donations due to a shortage.

The nonprofit supplies about 40 percent of the nation’s blood, according to a Red Cross press release. In September and October, the Red Cross collected 21,000 fewer blood and platelet donations than what was needed by hospitals.

“Every few seconds in the United States, someone needs a blood transfusion,” said Samantha Pollard, the Midwest communications manager at American Red Cross Blood. “It’s so important that we have a strong blood supply on an ongoing basis so we don’t have these shortages and have to scramble to make up the difference.”

In response to the shortage, the Red Cross is hosting several volunteer blood drives throughout the winter in the nearby area. The Red Cross is encouraging people of all blood types to make an appointment to donate. People can either visit www.RedCrossBlood.org or call 1-800-733-2767 to make an appointment.

It is believed an additional 4,300 blood drives nationally are needed this winter in order to help meet the demand, according to a Red Cross press release. Pollard said 38 percent of people are eligible to donate blood, but only about 3 percent actually do.

To encourage donations around the Thanksgiving, people who donate blood with the Red Cross between Nov. 21-24 will receive a long-sleeved Red Cross T-shirt while supplies last.

Pollard said it’s common for blood donations to decline in the winter months due to the cold weather and people being busy with holiday activities and travel. She said the ongoing fires in California and October’s Hurricane Michael have also decreased the number of donations the organization would normally receive.

For rural Nebraska, Pollard said the wet weather this fall has deterred many from coming out to donate as they were preoccupied with the delayed harvest.

“Kind of just a perfect storm of a lot of things happening,” Pollard said.

Here’s a list of upcoming nearby blood donation opportunities:

November

Columbus, Nov. 21. United Methodist Outreach Center, 3602 16th St., 11:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.

Humphrey, Nov. 21. Humphrey High School, 405 S. 7th St., 7 a.m. to 1 p.m.

Clarks, Nov. 23. Clarks VFW Building, 201 N. Green St., 10:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.

Rising City, Nov. 27. Community Hall, 600 Main St., Noon to 6 p.m.

David City, Nov. 28. City Auditorium, 699 Kansas St., Noon to 6 p.m.

Columbus, Nov. 29 Superior Industries, Inc Columbus, 3330 23rd St. E., 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Columbus, Nov. 29. United Methodist Outreach Center, 3602 16th St., 1:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.

December

David City, Dec. 4. Butler County Health Care Center, 372 S 9th St., Noon to 6 p.m.

Schuyler, Dec.5. Schuyler Central High School, 401 Adam St., 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.

Columbus, Dec. 6. United Methodist Outreach Center, 3602 16th St., 11:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.

Columbus, Dec. 11. Nebraska Public Power District, 1414 Fifteenth St., 7:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m.

Columbus, Dec. 12. East Central District Health Department, 4321 41st Ave., 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Columbus, Dec. 13. United Methodist Outreach Center, 3602 16th St., 11:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.

Newman Grove, Dec. 13. Fellowship Bible Church, 1011 Hale Ave., Noon to 6 p.m.

Columbus, Dec. 14. Columbus Community Hospital, 4600 38 St., 8 a.m. to 2 p.m.

Columbus, Dec. 15. Trinity Lutheran Church, 2200 25th St., 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Eric Schucht is a reporter for The Columbus Telegram. Reach him via email at eric.schucht@lee.net.

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