GALION — The American Red Cross has a severe winter blood shortage and is issuing an emergency call for blood and platelet donors to make a donation appointment now and help save patient lives.
In Crawford County, those opportunities begin next week.
In Galion, a blood drive is set Tuesday, Jan 10, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. at Galion Alliance Church, 430 Portland Way North. If that drive does not fit into your schedule you can give blood in Bucyrus on Sunday, Jan. 8, from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. at Bucyrus Community Hospital. A third blood drive is set in Chatfield on Sunday, Jan. 22, at Chatfield Evangelical Pietist Church, 3535 Chatfield Center Road, from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.
There is some extra incentive to donate now. Anyone who donates to give blood in the Central Ohio Region now through Jan. 31 can enter to win $2,000 in gift cards from Kroger, good for gas or groceries.
Hectic holiday schedules for many regular blood donors contributed to about 37,000 fewer donations in November and December than what was needed. Snowstorms and severe weather have also impacted donations. Nearly 100 blood drives were forced to cancel in December, resulting in more than 3,100 blood donations going uncollected.
“Blood and platelet donations are critically needed in the coming days so that patients can continue to receive the lifesaving treatments they are counting on,” said Rodney Wilson, communications manager for Red Cross Central Ohio Blood Services Region. “We encourage donors to invite a family member or friend to donate with them to help meet patient needs. Right now, blood and platelet donations are being distributed to hospitals faster than they are coming in.”
There are any ways to help. Even if you can’t make it to one of the drives scheduled in Crawford County, you can still give.
Find a blood donation opportunity and schedule an appointment to donate by using the free Blood Donor App, visiting redcrossblood.org or calling 1-800-RED CROSS (1-800-733-2767). The Red Cross is extending hours at many donation sites for more donors to give blood or platelets. Overall, the Red Cross has added nearly 200 hours to blood donation centers and community blood drives across the country over the next few weeks. Donation appointments and completion of a RapidPass online health history questionnaire are encouraged to help speed up the donation process.
“In about an hour, you can help save someone’s life. This simple act can have a profound impact on another human being,” said Wilson.
The need for blood and platelets never ends.
Every two seconds, someone in the U.S. needs blood. Accident and burn victims, heart surgery and organ transplant patients, and patients receiving treatment for leukemia, cancer or sickle cell disease may all require blood to save their lives.
The treatments high school freshman Payton Kannarr receives to fight leukemia cause her blood counts to drop. She currently receives platelet transfusions weekly and red blood cells about every two weeks.
“We have seen firsthand the incredible need for blood products as we have been on this four-year roller coaster journey,” said Amy Kannarr, Payton’s mom. “Through the care and compassion of donors, Payton has been able to enjoy life as a teenager.”