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Thursday, 09 January 2014 11:14

Weather causes blood donation shortage

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 300 blood drives in 25 states across the U.S. were canceled due to snow and extreme cold. The blood drive cancellations resulted in a shortfall of nearly 88-hundred blood and platelet donations since
January 2.
In the Missouri-Illinois Blood Services Region, severe winter weather forced the cancellation of nearly 30 Red Cross blood drives, resulting in nearly 900 fewer than expected blood donations over the past five days.
“It’s the blood products already on the shelves that help save lives when severe weather hits,” said Scott Caswell, CEO of the Red Cross Missouri-Illinois Region. “Thanks to generous Red Cross blood and platelet donors, blood products were available for patients who still needed transfusions despite the weather. Now we invite those previously ‘frozen out’ from giving blood or platelets to come in soon.”
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.
 
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
 
Published in Local News

On this Veterans Day, the American Red Cross is urging people to commemorate a veteran or hero with a purchase from their Holiday Giving Catalog.  

Military Comfort Kits, Connect a Military Family and Caregiver Training are just a few of the items that can bought which will benefit veterans.  

The Connect a Military Family, for instance, helps deliver an emergency message to a service member to make sure they can connect with their loved ones in times of family crisis.

The Comfort Kits include personal care items for wounded warriors recovering in hospitals.  And the Caregiver Training provides family and friends the skills and support they need to care for injured heroes returning home.

Published in Local News
Monday, 04 November 2013 09:42

American Red Cross urges blood donations

With the holiday season fast approaching, the American Red Cross is urging donors to make an appointment to give blood.

All blood types are needed, but O negative,  A negative and B negative are in greatest demand.  

There are numerous opportunities to donate throughout the region with blood drives beginning in mid-November.

Madison, Monroe and St. Clair Counties in Illinois already have 30 locations on the schedule and the entire St. Louis area, including St. Louis city, St. Charles and Jefferson Counties have dozens of locations ready to accept donations.  

To make an appointment or for more information in finding a blood drive location near you, go to: redcrossblood.org or call  1-800-RED CROSS.

Published in Local News
Monday, 07 October 2013 09:13

Tips for safety during Fire Prevention Week

Monday marks the beginning of Home Fire Prevention Week and the Amercian Red Cross is reminding everyone that the biggest disaster threat to American families isn’t floods, or tornadoes, it’s fire.

The Red Cross says it responds to a disaster every eight minutes and nearly all of these are home fires.  The Greater St. Louis Region responded to more than 1,300 fires last year. Fortunately, most home fires can be prevented.

Homeowners should check for items that can be hazardous such as candles and space heaters and keep items that can catch on fire at least three feet away from anything that gets hot, such as sources of heat or stoves.

Here are some other easy, but important steps that can be taken to keep your home safe.

*  Never smoke in bed.

*  Turn portable heaters off when leaving the room or going to sleep.

*  Smoke alarms save lives. Smoke alarms should be installed on every level of the home and outside each sleeping area.  Because smoke rises, put the alarms on the ceiling or high on a wall.

*  Test the smoke alarms regularly. Install new batteries every year.

*  Make a plan. The Red Cross recommends that households develop a fire escape plan and practice it at least twice a year with everyone who lives in the home. People should know two ways to escape from every room and designate a safe place to meet outside the home. 

 
Published in Local News

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