Blood Watch: Shortage worst in over 10 years; donors can win trip to Hawaii

National News

Despite ongoing appeals to donors and the public, the American Red Cross emergency blood and platelet shortage continues.

The current blood supply is the lowest the Red Cross has seen this time of year in more than a decade.

The Red Cross is urging donors to continue to make and keep appointments now and in the weeks ahead to help overcome the ongoing emergency blood and platelet shortage that has significantly impacted the nation’s blood supply.

Since declaring an emergency need for donors last month, thousands of people have come to Red Cross blood drives across the country to donate and help patients who are counting on lifesaving transfusions. At least 10,000 more donations are needed each week in the coming weeks to meet patient needs because the upcoming holiday season always presents seasonal challenges to blood collection.

Donors are urged to schedule an appointment now by using the Red Cross Blood Donor App, visiting RedCrossBlood.org or calling 1-800-RED CROSS (1-800-733-2767). 

To donate blood, individuals need to bring a blood donor card or driver’s license or two other forms of identification that 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 must meet certain height and weight requirements.

People who come to give between Nov. 1-12 will automatically be entered to win a trip for two to Hawaii, courtesy of Amazon Prime Video. The trip includes round-trip airfare for two, hotel accommodations for nine nights, meals, tour stops from Honolulu to Maui, a $1,000 gift card for expenses and on-trip transportation included.

Anybody who comes to donate Nov. 1-23 will receive a $10 Amazon.com Gift Card by email.

Blood drive safety 

Each Red Cross blood drive and donation center follows the highest standards of safety and infection control, and additional precautions, such as face masks for donors and staff, regardless of vaccination status. Donors are asked to schedule an appointment prior to arriving at the drive. 

Upcoming blood donation opportunities Nov. 1-23

Crawford
  • Conneautville:
    • Nov. 22: 3:30 p.m. – 8:30 p.m., Conneautville Church of Christ, 1308 Main Street
  • Guys Mills:
    • Nov. 9: 1:30 p.m. – 6:30 p.m., Randolph Volunteer, 11745 PA 198
  • Linesville:
    • Nov. 18: 9 a.m. – 3 p.m., Conneaut Area High School, 302 West School Drive
  • Meadville:
    • Nov. 23: 12:30 p.m. – 5:30 p.m., Meadville Community Center, 1034 Park Ave 
Elk
  • Kersey:
    • Nov. 9: 2 p.m. – 6:30 p.m., Fox Township Senior Center, 365 Main Street
  • Ridgway:
    • Nov. 12: 11:30 a.m. – 5:30 p.m., Ridgway Central Hose Company, 30 N Broad St.
  • St. Marys:
    • Nov. 10: 10 a.m. – 4 p.m., Moose Club Lodge, 30 Erie Avenue
  • Weedville:
    • Nov. 11: 1 p.m. – 6 p.m., Weedville Wesleyan Church, 18945 Bennetts Valley Highway 
Erie
  • Erie:
    • Nov. 2: 1 p.m. – 6 p.m., Erie Red Cross Chapter, 4961 Pittsburgh Ave
    • Nov. 17: 10 a.m. – 3 p.m., Mercyhurst University Hermann Union, 501 East 38th St.
  • Corry:
    • Nov. 4: 11:30 a.m. – 6 p.m., First United Methodist Church, 650 Worth Street 
Potter
  • Coudersport:
    • Nov. 18: 12:30 p.m. – 5:30 p.m., Coudersport Consistory, 111 East 2nd St
  • Ulysses:
    • Nov. 19: 2 p.m. – 7 p.m., Tri Town Fire and Ambulance, 836 State Rte 49 
Venango
  • Cranberry:
    • Nov. 10: 12:30 p.m. – 5:30 p.m., Cranberry Mall, 6945 U.S. Route 322
  • Franklin:
    • Nov. 9: 9 a.m. – 2 p.m., Rocky Grove High School, 403 Rocky Grove Road
    • Nov. 11: 12:30 p.m. – 6 p.m., Jesse G Greer Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 1835, 421 9th St.
    • Nov. 12: 12 p.m. – 6 p.m., Atlantic Ave. UB Church, 160 Atlantic Ave.

Health insights for donors 

The Red Cross is screening all blood, platelet and plasma donations from self-identified African American donors for the sickle cell trait. This additional screening will provide black donors with an additional health insight and help identify compatible blood types more quickly to help patients with sickle cell disease who require trait-negative blood. 

Donors can expect to receive sickle cell trait screening results, if applicable, within one to two weeks through the Red Cross Blood Donor App and the online donor portal at RedCrossBlood.org.  

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