Red Cross faces emergency blood shortage

Offers Amazon gift cards to eligible donors

By JOHN RISHEL

jrishel@lockhaven.com

LOCK HAVEN — The American Red Cross has come up with a unique way to address an emergency blood shortage.

Anyone who donates blood or platelets with the American Red Cross through Aug. 29 will receive a $5 Amazon.com Gift Card via email.

Currently, the Red Cross has less than a three-day supply of most blood types available and less than a two-day supply of type O blood. All eligible donors are urged to give now.

“With the help of a generous $1 million donation from Amazon, the Red Cross is thanking those who help alleviate the blood shortage by coming to donate through Aug. 29 with a $5 Amazon.com Gift Card,” said Alana Mauger, Biomedical Field Marketing and Communications.

When an emergency arises, it is the blood already on the shelves that saves lives. Only through the generosity of blood donors can the Red Cross provide hospitals with lifesaving blood to meet the ongoing and often, unpredictable needs of patients. The need for blood is constant. In the United States every two seconds blood is needed to help accident and burn victims, heart surgery and organ transplant patients, and those receiving treatment for leukemia, cancer or sickle cell disease.

Amazon’s partnership with the Red Cross is part of their commitment to “Right Now Needs” to help increase blood donations to ensure patient needs are met.

“We are grateful to Amazon for their support in addressing a ‘Right Now Need’ for blood donations,” said Cliff Numark, senior vice president, Red Cross Blood Services. “Each donation truly matters to those counting on blood products to battle illness and injury. Today, we are asking the public to donate as soon as possible to ensure blood is available on hospital shelves for those in need.”

To donate blood, individuals need to bring a blood donor card or driver’s license or two other forms of identification that 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 must meet certain height and weight requirements.

Upcoming blood drives

in the area include:

∫ August 12, 1 p.m. – 6 p.m., Trinity United Methodist Church, 1407 Allegheny St., Jersey Shore

∫ August 13, 1 p.m. – 6 p.m., Woodward Fire Company, 4147 N. Route 220, Linden

∫ August 15, 1 p.m. – 6 p.m., Phelps Chapel, 68 Phelps Chapel Road, Jersey Shore

∫ August 15, 1 p.m. – 6 p.m., Williamsport Regional Medical Center, 700 High St., Williamsport

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