Red Cross issues emergency appeal for blood donations
ST. PAUL -- The American Red Cross has issued an emergency appeal for platelet and blood donors of all blood types to roll up a sleeve and donate blood this month.
Nationally, blood donations through the Red Cross were down by about 10 percent during June. Donations also lagged through the first week of July. The shortfall is similar to one experienced by the Red Cross in June 2012.
June is often one of the most challenging months of the year for blood and platelet donations. Donations from high school and college drives, which account for as much as 20 percent of Red Cross donations during the school year, usually drop during the summer. The midweek Independence Day holiday also reduced the number of blood drives scheduled in early July.
Each day the Red Cross North Central Blood Services Region must collect approximately 800 units of blood to meet the demand. Eligible donors with types O negative, B negative and A negative are especially encouraged to give. Type O negative is a universal blood type and can be given to anyone in need of a blood transfusion. Types A and B negative can be transfused to Rh negative or positive patients.
There is also an urgent need for platelets, a key clotting component of blood often used for cancer patients.
Blood drives scheduled in the region this month include:
July 15, Spicer, 1 to 7 p.m., Faith Lutheran Church.
July 17, Willmar, 1 to 6 p.m., Vinje Lutheran Church.
July 18, Belgrade, 1 to 7 p.m., St. Francis de Sales Parish Center.
July 19, Milan, 1 to 6 p.m., Kviteseid Lutheran Church.
July 22, Granite Falls, 1 to 7 p.m., St. Andrew Catholic Church.
July 22 and 23, Redwood Falls, 1 to 7 p.m., St. Catherine Catholic Church.
July 24, Prinsburg, 1 to 7 p.m., Unity Christian Reformed Church.
July 25, Willmar, noon to 5 p.m., Rice Memorial Hospital.
The bloodmobile also will be on the Sonshine Festival grounds at the Willmar Civic Center from noon to 5 p.m. July 19 and 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. July 20.