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Red Cross calls for donors as winter adds to blood shortage

Following several rounds of severe winter weather in many parts of the country, the American Red Cross urges eligible blood and platelet donors to help restock its shelves to overcome a shortage.

Since December 1, about 300 blood drives across 27 states have been forced to cancel due to inclement winter weather, resulting in more than 10,500 blood and platelet donations going uncollected.

Blood donor Jim Taylor knows how it feels to have a loved one waiting for a transfusion. His son Aaron was born with a rare liver condition. In the short two months of his life, he received 115 blood products. Taylor said each transfusion gave his family more time with Aaron, so he encourages others to give.

“When the Red Cross says there is a shortage, they are not exaggerating,” said Taylor. “I now know from experience that what they are saying is somewhere there is a father waiting on the donation that will save his son’s life. When the Red Cross asks for help, what that means is a new dad is praying for a miracle.”

To help, simply download the American Red Cross Blood Donor App, visit redcrossblood.org or call 1-800-RED CROSS (1-800-733-2767) to make an appointment or for more information.

All blood types are needed to ensure a reliable supply for patients. A blood donor card or driver’s license or two other forms of identification 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 have to meet certain height and weight requirements.

Milwaukee Blood Drive Sites:

  • 1/24/2017: 8 a.m. – 2 p.m.
    Ronald Reagan High School, 4965 S 20th St
  • 1/25/2017: 9 a.m. – 2 p.m.
    Schlitz Park Office Building, 1555 N River Center Dr
  • 1/27/2017: 9:30 a.m. – 3:30 p.m.
    Marquette Gymnasium, 1508 W. Clybourn Street
  • 2/15/2017: 10 a.m. – 3 p.m.
    Cardinal Stritch – Bonaventure Hall, 6801 N Yates Rd
  • 2/6/2017: 1 p.m. – 6 p.m.
    Lutheran Chapel of the Cross, 3353 S. Whitnall

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, prior to arriving at the blood drive.

Ronald Reagan High School

Schlitz Park Office Building

Marquette Gymnasium

Cardinal Stritch – Bonaventure Hall

Lutheran Chapel of the Cross

About the American Red Cross

The American Red Cross shelters, feeds and provides emotional support to victims of disasters; supplies about 40 percent of the nation’s blood; teaches skills that save lives; provides international humanitarian aid; and supports military members and their families. The Red Cross is a not-for-profit organization that depends on volunteers and the generosity of the American public to perform its mission.

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