Donors needed to give blood to help address critical shortage
HOOD RIVER, Ore. (July 13, 2017) — The Hood River community can help save lives at the annual Hood River Community Blood Drive on July 26 from 12:30 to 6 p.m. at the Hood River Inn, 1108 E. Marina Way. Those who come to donate can enjoy an on-site cookout and get a $10 Visa gift card, courtesy of Suburban Propane, while supplies last.
The American Red Cross recently issued an emergency call for blood donors. Blood donations have fallen short of expectations for the past two months, resulting in about 61,000 fewer donations than needed and causing a significant draw down of the Red Cross blood supply. The shortfall is the equivalent of the Red Cross not collecting any blood donations for more than four days. In addition, new donors are especially encouraged to roll up a sleeve and help save lives. Nearly one-third fewer new blood donors came out to give last summer than during the rest of the year.
“There is a critical need for lifesaving blood,” said Neil Tosuntikool, Donor Recruitment director of the Red Cross Pacific Northwest Blood Services Region. “Right now, blood donations are being distributed to hospitals faster than donations are coming in, which could lead to delays in patient care. We are doing everything we can to prevent that from happening but rely on generous volunteers of the community to help restock the shelves.”
The Red Cross relies on volunteer donors for the approximately 14,000 blood donations needed every day to support patients at about 2,600 hospitals and transfusion centers nationwide. Blood donors of all types are needed to help accident and burn victims, heart surgery patients, organ transplant patients, and those receiving treatment for leukemia, cancer or sickle cell disease.
Blood donation appointments can be scheduled by using the sponsor code HoodRiver through the Red Cross Blood Donor App, online at redcrossblood.org or by calling 1-800-RED CROSS (1-800-733-2767). Blood donors also can save time 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.
How to donate blood
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.
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.