Urgent need for platelet, blood donors

As severe winter weather begins to subside, the American Red Cross is asking all eligible blood and platelet donors to help offset a weather-related shortfall in donations.

Approximately 280 blood drives across 25 states were canceled across the U.S. due to snow and extreme cold. The blood drive cancellations resulted in a shortfall of nearly 8, 400 blood and platelet donations since Jan. 2. 

Residents in unaffected areas can help boost donations immediately. Blood drives at designated sites in the Bay Area will offer extended hours to allow for more blood donation appointments. 

“It’s the blood products already on the shelves that help save lives when severe weather hits,” said Jared Schultzman, communications manager at the Red Cross Northern California Blood Services Region. “Thanks to generous Red Cross blood and platelet donors, blood products were available for patients who still needed transfusions despite the weather.

Platelet donors, as well as blood donors with the most in-demand blood types — O positive and negative, A negative and B negative — are urgently needed to give blood in the days and weeks ahead to offset the shortfall.

Platelets, a key clotting component of blood often needed by cancer patients, must be transfused within five days of donation, so donations are constantly needed. Red blood cells, the oxygen carrying component of blood, are the most widely transfused blood product and must be transfused within 42 days.

Upcoming blood donation opportunities:

Jan. 9 from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. at Northridge Mall, 796 Northridge Mall in Salinas

Jan. 9 from noon to 6 p.m. at Laurel Ridge Community Church, 2459 Laurel Road in Oakley

Jan. 9 from 1 p.m. to 6 p.m. at First Baptist Church, 8455 Wren Avenue in Gilroy

Jan. 10 from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. at Twin Lakes Church, 2701 Cabrillo College Drive in Aptos

Jan. 10 from 9:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. at Calvary Church, 16330 Los Gatos Boulevard in Los Gatos

Jan. 10 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. at Berkeley Espresso, 1900 Shattuck Avenue in Berkeley

Jan. 11 from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. at Stone Church of Willow Glen, 1937 Lincoln Avenue in San Jose

Jan. 11 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. at St. Anthony Church, 1535-16th Avenue in Oakland

Jan. 11 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. at Starbucks, 1540 Fitzgerald Drive in Pinole

Jan. 11 from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. at King City Recreation Center, 401 Division Street in King City

Blood donation centers:

Oakland Blood Donation Center, 6230 Claremont Avenue

Pleasant Hill Blood Donation Center, 140 Gregory Lane

Pleasanton Blood Donation Center, 5556-B Springdale Avenue

Newark Blood Donation Center, 39227 Cedar Boulevard

San Jose Blood Donation Center, 2731 N. First Street

How to donate blood

Simply call 1-800-RED CROSS (1-800-733-2767) or visit redcrossblood.org to make an appointment or for more information. 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 (16 with parental consent in some states), 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 visit us on Twitter at @RedCross.

This post is contributed by a community member. The views expressed in this blog are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Patch Media Corporation. Everyone is welcome to submit a post to Patch. If you'd like to post a blog, go here to get started.

Sheila Sanchez January 09, 2014 at 12:16 PM
Thanks for posting this, Jared. Much appreciated.


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