AP NEWS

Red Cross: Severe shortage of type O blood; donors needed

February 28, 2019

The American Red Cross has a severe shortage of type O blood and urges type O donors — as well as eligible blood platelet donors of all blood types — to give now to ensure lifesaving patient care isn’t impacted this winter.

Type O blood is the most in-demand blood type, helping patients facing life-threatening conditions and emergencies every day. Type O negative blood can be transfused to patients with any blood type and is what emergency room personnel reach for when there’s no time to determine a patient’s blood type. Type O positive blood is also especially needed because it is the most transfused blood type and can be given to Rh-positive patients of any blood type.

Having a readily available blood supply is critical for patients like Luna Giles, who at the age of 1 1/2 has already underwent two heart surgeries and required more than a dozen transfusions.

“Each time, the nurse would bring in a bag of blood for her transfusion, I noticed a small label on each one that said ‘Donation Type: Volunteer,’” said Luna’s mom, Jessie Giles. “It made me think about each individual who donated blood for my daughter. I would never know who those individuals were, and they would never see the effect their donation had. But each of those individuals, strangers to us, absolutely saved my daughter’s life. They may never know it, but to me, they are heroes.”

Right now, the Red Cross has less than a three-day supply of most blood types, and blood products are being distributed to hospitals faster than donations are coming in. Recent snowstorms and severe weather in many parts of the country have forced hundreds of blood drive cancellations, causing more than 20,000 blood and platelet donations to go uncollected. Individuals of all blood types — especially type O — are asked to make an appointment to donate blood or platelets by downloading the free American Red Cross Blood Donor App, visiting RedCrossBlood.org or calling 800-RED CROSS (800-733-2767).

HBO, Red Cross team up in Bleed #ForTheThrone drive

To celebrate the final season of “Game of Thrones,” HBO and the Red Cross have partnered to ask fans and blood donors to Bleed #ForTheThrone this March. This is the largest blood donation promotional effort by an entertainment company in Red Cross history — with six days of coordinated giving March 7-12 from fans and blood donors at blood drives in 43 states across the U.S., including an immersive blood drive experience at South by Southwest in Austin, Texas.

As part of the partnership, fans who come to donate blood or platelets with the Red Cross now through March 17 will automatically be entered for a chance to win one of five trips to the season 8 world premiere of “Game of Thrones.” The trip includes travel for two, up to two nights hotel accommodations and a $250 gift card for expenses. Terms and conditions apply and are available at RedCrossBlood.org/HBO-GameofThrones.

Additionally, those who come to donate March 7-12 will also receive exclusive “Game of Thrones” swag including a T-shirt, stickers to unlock a unique Snapchat filter and other items, while supplies last.

Upcoming blood donation opportunities:

Chesapeake

• March 23: 9 a.m.-2:30 p.m., Getaway Community Church Fellowship Hall, 1238 State Route 243

South Point

• March 2: 9 a.m.-2:30 p.m., Tri-State Worship Center, 901 Solida Road

Willow Wood

• March 28: 8:30 a.m.-1:30 p.m., Symmes Valley HS, 14778 State Route 141

Franklin Furnace

• March 13: 8 a.m.-1:30 p.m., Green High School Gym, 4057 Gallia Pike

Portsmouth

• March 5: 9 a.m.-2 p.m., Notre Dame High School Gym, 2220 Sunrise Ave.

Ashland

• March 1: 10:30 a.m.-4 p.m., Central Fire Station, 1021 Carter Ave.

• March 1: 11:30 a.m.-5 p.m., Bellefonte Pavillion, 2000 Ashland Drive

• March 26: 9 a.m.-2 p.m., Fairview High School, 2201 Main St.

• March 27: 8:30 a.m.-2 p.m., Paul Blazer High School, Blazer Blvd.

Wheelersburg

• March 27: 8 a.m.-1:30 p.m., Wheelersburg High School, 800 Pirate Drive

Huntington

• March 4: 10:30 a.m.-6:30 p.m., Huntington Donation Center, 1111 Veterans Memorial Blvd.

• March 6: 10:30 a.m.-4 p.m., St. Mary’s Center for Education, 2825 5th Ave.

• March 6: 11:30 a.m.-5 p.m., Campus Christian Center, 17th St. and 5th Ave.

• March 11: 10:30 a.m.-6:30 p.m., Huntington Donation Center, 1111 Veterans Memorial Blvd.

• March 18: 10:30 a.m.-6:30 p.m., Huntington Donation Ctr, 1111 Veterans Memorial Blvd.

• March 21: 11:30 a.m.-5 p.m., Campus Christian Center, 17th St. and 5th Ave.

• March 25: 10:30 a.m.-6:30 p.m., Huntington Donation Ctenter 1111 Veterans Memorial Blvd.

HOW TO DONATE BLOOD

Simply download the American Red Cross Blood Donor App, visit RedCross-Blood.org or call 1-800-RED CROSS (1-800-733-2767) 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 Rapid-Pass® to complete their predonation 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 RedCross-Blood.org/RapidPass or use the Blood Donor App.