State News
January 11, 2017

Red Cross issues urgent call for blood donors

On Jan. 5, the American Red Cross reported a severe winter blood shortage and issued an emergency call for blood and platelet donors to make a donation appointment in order to help save patient lives.
Hectic holiday schedules for many regular blood donors contributed to about 37,000 fewer donations in November and December, 2016, than what was needed. Snowstorms and severe weather have also influenced donations. Nearly 100 blood drives were forced to cancel in December, resulting in more than 3,100 blood donations going uncollected.
“Blood and platelet donations are critically needed in the coming days so that patients can continue to receive the lifesaving treatments they are counting on,” said Mary Brant, external communications manager for the Northern New England Region. “We encourage donors to invite a family member or friend to donate with them to help meet patient needs. Right now, blood and platelet donations are being distributed to hospitals faster than they are coming in.”
How to help
Use the free blood donor app, visit redcrossblood.org or call 1-800-RED CROSS to find a blood donation opportunity and schedule an appointment. The Red Cross is extending hours at many donation sites. Overall, the Red Cross has added nearly 200 hours to blood donation centers and community blood drives across the country over the next few weeks. Donation appointments and completion of a RapidPass online health history questionnaire are encouraged to help speed up the process. “In about an hour, you can help save someone’s life. This simple act can have a profound impact on another human being,” said Brant.
Who is helped?
Every two seconds, someone in the U.S. needs blood. Accident and burn victims, heart surgery and organ transplant patients, and patients receiving treatment for leukemia, cancer or sickle cell disease may all require blood to save their lives.
The treatments high school freshman Payton Kannarr receives to fight leukemia cause her blood counts to drop. She currently receives platelet transfusions weekly and red blood cells about every two weeks.
“We have seen firsthand the incredible need for blood products as we have been on this four-year roller coaster journey,” said Amy Kannarr, Payton’s mom. “Through the care and compassion of donors, Payton has been able to enjoy life as a teenager.”
Upcoming blood donation opportunities
Rutland County
Pittsford: Jan. 12, 11:30 a.m.-4:30 p.m., Furnace Brook Wesleyan Church, 2190 Route 7
North Clarendon: Jan. 17, 2-7 p.m., Clarendon Elementary School, 84 Grange Hall Road
Killington: Jan. 19, 10 a.m.-3 p.m., Killington Grand Resort Hotel, 228 East Mountain Road
Rutland: Jan. 21, 11 a.m.-4 p.m., Diamond Run Mall, 46 Diamond Run Mall Place
Windsor County
Windsor: Jan. 13, 12:30-5:30 p.m., American Legion, 4 Court Street

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