Severe winter weather caused the cancellation of more than 14,000 blood and platelet donations through the American Red Cross, more than 3,200 of which were in the Carolinas region. As a result, as many as 9,600 blood products are not available for patients who need them.
Kathy Bragg, American Red Cross community director, urges eligible residents to consider making an appointment to donate at one of 13 drives scheduled in February for Union County. Anson County also has a blood drive scheduled in February.
“Patients who need life-saving blood supplies cannot be forced to postpone medical care due to limited blood,” she said. “We need to make up the losses from January.”
“We have not seen the January supply drop this dramatically in a decade and we need to reverse this now,” said Joyce H. Brendel, Carolinas region’s chief executive officer. “You don’t wait to refuel once you’ve run out of gas. Donating blood or platelets now helps ensure immediate and future patient needs will be met.”
There is a particular need for O-negative blood. O-negative is the universal blood type, which can go to any patient regardless of their blood type. O-negative blood is often used in emergency cases when doctors can’t wait to type a patient’s blood.
There is also a need for people to give platelets during what is called an aphaeresis donation. A machine collects only your platelets and returns the rest of your blood back to you. Many patients who need platelets are undergoing chemotherapy or organ transplant and have weakened immune systems.
Individuals who are 17 years of age (16 with parental permission), meet weight and height requirements (110 pounds or more, depending on their height) and are in generally good health may be eligible to donate blood.
Take your Red Cross blood donor card or other form of positive ID when you donate. It must be 56 days since your last donation.
All blood drives in February are open to the public, and no appointment is necessary. However, an appointment can shorten your donation time.
To make an appointment, call 1-800-RED-CROSS (1-800-733-2767).
Union County drives are:
Feb. 3, Union Power Cooperative, 1525 Rocky River Road, Monroe, 1 p.m. to 5 p.m.
Feb. 4, Forest Hills High School, 100 Forest Hills School Road, Marshville, 8:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m.
Feb. 4, Marvin Elementary School, 9700 Marvin School Road, Marvin, 9 a.m. to 1:30 p.m.
Feb. 5, Walmart Supercenter, 2101 Younts Road, Indian Trail, 10 a.m. to 2:30 p.m.
Feb. 7, Zion United Methodist Church Fellowship Hall, 1521 Old Fish Road, Monroe, 4 p.m. to 8:30 p.m.
Feb. 7, Emmanuel Baptist Church, 3816 Morgan Mill Road, Monroe, 3 p.m. to 7:30 p.m.
Feb. 8, Weddington United Methodist Church, 13901 Providence Road, Weddington, 3:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m.
Feb. 10, South Piedmont Community College, 4209 Old Charlotte Highway, Monroe, 9:30 a.m. to 2 p.m.
Feb. 12, Sun Valley High School, 5211 Old Charlotte Hwy, Monroe, 8:30 a.m. to 2 p.m.
Feb. 22, Cuthbertson Middle School, 1520 Cuthbertson Road, Waxhaw, 9:30 a.m. to 2 p.m.
Feb. 16, Marvin Ridge High School, 2825 Crane Road, Waxhaw, 8:30 a.m. to 2 p.m.
Feb. 17, Wingate University Batte Center, U.S. 74 E, Wingate, 11:30 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Feb. 18, Weddington High School, 4901 Weddington Road, Weddington, 8:30 a.m. to 2 p.m.
In Anson County, a drive will be held Feb. 3 at South Piedmont Community College on U.S. 74E in Polkton from 9:30 a.m. to 2 p.m.
For more information on these blood drives or to schedule a blood drive, contact the American Red Cross, Union County chapter, at (704) 283-7402.
2011 Union County, NC