Emergency need for blood, platelet donors reported by American Red Cross

<p class="p1">Area residents are being asked to help the American Red Cross meet an emergency need for blood and platelet donors. </p><p class="p1">Severe winter weather since Jan. 1 has forced the cancellation of more than 300 blood drives across 20 states, resulting in more than 9,500 donations uncollected, further depleting an already low winter supply. </p><p class="p1">Area residents can help to meet the emergency need by being donors at an upcoming blood drive. </p><p class="p1">Anna, Carbondale and Cape Girardeau are among the area communities which are scheduled to host blood drives during February.</p><p class="p1">A blood drive is scheduled from noon to 6 p.m. Feb. 11 at the First Baptist Church at 409 Morgan St. in Anna.</p><p class="p1">A drive is planned from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Feb. 19 in Lindegren Hall at Southern Illinois University Carbondale.</p><p class="p1">A drive is scheduled from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Feb. 25 at the SIUC Student Center.</p><p class="p1">Blood drives are planned Feb. 21-24 at Southeast Missouri State University in Cape Girardeau. Hours are from noon to 7 p.m. each day in the University Center.</p><p class="p1">The American Red Cross notes that blood donation appointments can be quickly and easily scheduled.</p><p class="p1">Appointments can be made by using the Red Cross Blood Donor App, visiting redcrossblood.org or calling 1-800-RED CROSS (1-800-733-2767).</p><p class="p1">The Red Cross must collect approximately 14,000 blood and platelet donations every day for the patients at about 2,600 hospitals and transfusion centers nationwide. </p><p class="p1"><strong>How to Donate Blood</strong></p><p class="p1">A blood donor card or driver’s license or two other forms of identification are required at check-in. </p><p class="p1">Individuals who are 17 years of age (16 with parental consent in some states), weigh at least 110 pounds and are in generally good health may be eligible to donate blood. </p><p class="p1">High school students and other donors 18 years of age and younger also have to meet certain height and weight requirements.</p><p class="p1">Blood donors can now save time at their next donation by using RapidPass to complete their pre-donation reading and health history questionnaire online, on the day of their donation, from a home or work computer prior to arriving at the blood drive. </p><p class="p1">To get started and learn more, visit redcrossblood.org/RapidPass and follow the instructions on the site.</p>

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