The American Red Cross has a severe winter blood shortage and has issued an emergency call for blood donors. Eligible donors can help save lives by giving blood at the Wichita Thunder blood drive Jan. 22, from 8 a.m. to noon, at INTRUST Bank Arena.
The first 200 people who come to donate will a get free ticket to the game that night against the Allen Americans.
“We are happy to be working with the Red Cross again this year. The Wichita Thunder strives to help the community raise awareness for different causes like this,” said Jason Mals, Wichita Thunder director of communications. “With the recent emergency call for blood donations, the Thunder are proud to be part of a great cause and trying to give back.”
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. Since Dec. 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. The Red Cross now urges eligible blood and platelet donors to help restock its shelves to overcome a shortage.
“Blood donations are critically needed in the coming days so that patients can continue to receive the lifesaving treatments they are counting on,” said Jan Hale, Communications manager, Central Plains Blood Services Region. “We encourage donors to invite a family member or friend to donate with them to help meet patient needs. Right now, blood donations are being distributed to hospitals faster than they are coming in.”
To make an appointment for the Wichita Thunder blood drive, simply download the Red Cross Blood Donor App, visit redcrossblood.org or call 1-800-RED CROSS (1-800-733-2767) and use the sponsor code, THUNDER.
How to help
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.
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. To get started and learn more, visit redcrossblood.org/RapidPass and follow the instructions on the site.
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. For more information, please visit redcross.org or cruzrojaamericana.org, or visit us on Twitter at @RedCross.