The American Red Cross continues to experience an emergency blood and platelet shortage that has caused the blood supply to drop to the lowest post-summer level in at least six years.
With less than a day’s supply of certain blood types in recent weeks, the Red Cross asks donors of all blood types — especially type O — to make an appointment to give blood or platelets as soon as possible to ensure patients can receive the lifesaving transfusions they rely on. 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).
Fall is typically a time when the blood supply rebounds from summer blood shortages, but a surge in COVID-19 cases across the U.S. from the delta variant has contributed to the lowest donor turnout of the year. To shore up inventory, the Red Cross must collect 10,000 additional blood products each week this month to meet hospital and patient needs.
All those who donate in October will receive a link by email to claim a free Zaxby’s signature sandwich reward or get a $5 e-gift card to a merchant of their choice. All those who give Oct. 11-31 will receive a bonus $5 e-gift card to a merchant of their choice.
During Breast Cancer Awareness Month in October, the Red Cross is reminding donors of the importance of blood to those undergoing treatment. According to the National Cancer Institute, roughly 1.9 million people are expected to be diagnosed with cancer in the U.S. this year, and more than 281,000 of those individuals will have breast cancer.
Patients with breast cancer and other cancers may need blood products on a regular basis during chemotherapy, surgery or treatment for complications. In fact, nearly 25% of the blood supply is used by cancer patients.
La Salle County
9 a.m. to 2 p.m., Friday, Oct. 29: Earlville High School, 415 W. Union St.
10:45 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesday, Oct. 19: Moose Lodge, 211 E 12th St.
1:30 to 5:30 p.m. Wednesday, Oct. 20: First Baptist Church, 1401 State St.
1 to 6 p.m. Friday, Oct. 22: The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, 1377 Adams St.
Noon to 5 p.m. Wednesday, Oct. 20: Illinois Valley Chapter Donation Center, 1530 Fourth St.
1 to 6 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 21: Sheridan Fire Department, 405 N. Bushnell St.
8:45 a.m. to 1 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 21: Streator Park Place Conference Center, 406 Hickory St.
Save time during donation
Donors can also save up to 15 minutes at the blood drive by completing a RapidPass. With RapidPass, donors complete the pre-donation reading and health history questionnaire online, on the day of donation, from a mobile device or computer. To complete a RapidPass, follow the instructions at RedCrossBlood.org/RapidPass.
To donate blood, individuals need to bring a blood donor card or driver’s license or two other forms of identification required at check-in. Individuals who are 17 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 and younger also must meet certain height and weight requirements.