Red Cross calls for healthy blood donors following severe weather
There are many blood donation opportunities in the Brainerd lakes area.
Record-breaking cold and winter storms across much of the U.S. forced the cancellation of hundreds of American Red Cross blood drives in 30 states and caused more than 21,000 blood and platelet donations to go uncollected.
The Red Cross is urging healthy individuals, especially those with type O blood, to give now to ensure blood products are available for patient emergencies when help can’t wait, according to a news release.
The Red Cross is testing blood, platelet and plasma donations for COVID-19 antibodies. The test may indicate if the donor’s immune system has produced antibodies to this coronavirus, regardless of whether an individual developed COVID-19 symptoms. Red Cross antibody tests will be helpful to identify individuals who have COVID-19 antibodies and may now help current coronavirus patients in need of convalescent plasma transfusions.
Convalescent plasma is a type of blood donation collected from COVID-19 survivors that have antibodies that may help patients who are actively fighting the virus. Plasma from whole blood donations that test positive for high levels of COVID-19 antibodies may be used to help COVID-19 patients.
COVID-19 antibody test results will be available within one to two weeks in the Red Cross Blood Donor App or donor portal at redcrossblood.org . A positive antibody test result does not confirm infection or immunity. The Red Cross is not testing donors to diagnose illness, referred to as a diagnostic test. To protect the health and safety of Red Cross staff and donors, it is important that individuals who do not feel well or believe they may be ill with COVID-19 postpone donation.
Upcoming blood donation opportunities include:
8 a.m. to 2 p.m. March 3, Pillager Legion, 207 Virgil Ave.
9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Wednesday, Feb. 24, Northland Arboretum, 14250 Conservation Drive;
1-6 p.m. March 8, noon to 6 p.m. March 9, and 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. March 10, Lakewood Church, 6284 Fairview N. Road.
Noon to 6 p.m. March 1, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, 101 Buffalo Hills Lane W.; 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. March 12, Brainerd VFW 1647, 309 S. Sixth St.
8:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. March 1, noon to 6 p.m. March 2, and 1-7 p.m. March 3, First United Church, 1000 First St. SE.
Noon to 6 p.m. March 11, Randall VFW Post 9073, 401 Pacific Ave.
Noon to 6 p.m. March 5, Faith Lutheran Church, 430 12th St. NE.
8 a.m. to 2 p.m. March 10, Wadena Deer Creek High School, 600 Colfax Ave. SW; 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. March 12, Maslowski Wellness & Research Center, 17 Fifth St. SW.
Download the American Red Cross Blood Donor App, visit RedCrossBlood.org , call 800-RED CROSS (800-733-2767) or enable the Blood Donor Skill on any Alexa Echo device to make an appointment or for more information.
All blood types are needed to ensure a reliable supply for patients. 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 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 have to meet certain height and weight requirements.