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Red Cross seeing severe blood shortage; donations urged

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.

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. About 90 blood drives were forced to cancel in December, resulting in more than 3,000 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 Nick Gehrig, communications director, Red Cross Blood Services.

“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.”

How to help

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 Gehrig.

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.

China Grove

1/30/2017: 12:30 – 5 p.m., Rite Aid, 508 Highway 29 N

Mount Ulla

1/29/2017: 1  – 5:30 p.m., Millbridge Ruritan, 490 Sloan Road

Rockwell

TODAY: 2 – 6:30 p.m., Saleeby-Fisher YMCA, 790 Crescent Road

Salisbury

1/6/2017: 2 – 7 p.m., Salisbury Masonic Lodge, 401 North Fulton Street

1/13/2017: 11 a.m. – 3:30 p.m., Genesis Healthcare, 710 Julian Road

1/15/2017: 12 p.m. – 4:30 p.m., Christiana Lutheran Church, 6190 Hwy 52

1/15/2017: 1 – 5:30 p.m., Bethel Lutheran Church-Salisbury, 355 East Ridge Road

1/27/2017: 11:30 a.m. – 4 p.m., Rowan County Rescue Squad, 1140 Julian Road

1/31/2017: 2:30 – 7 p.m., Stallings Memorial Baptist-Salisbury, 817 S. Main Street

Kannapolis 

1/20/17: 3:30 – 7:30 p.m., Unity United Methodist Church, 8605 Unity Church Road

Mocksville

1/25/2017: 2 – 6:30 p.m., Davie County Library, 371 North Main Street

1/31/2017: 2  – 6:30 p.m., Pinebrook Elementary School, 477 Pinebrook School Road

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