Blood Supplies Needed After Hurricane
Planned blood drives were canceled due to Hurricane Irene, leaving the American Red Cross with dangerously low supplies. Following are the closest locations at which you can donate. Win a gas card by donating.
Blood donations are in high demand, especially following Hurricane Irene, according to American Red Cross representatives. The storm reportedly forced groups to cancel blood drives up and down the East Coast.
The immediate need is for blood platelets, which are the fragile cells that control bleeding and can be used by cancer patients and those undergoing chemotherapy. Platelets have a shelf-life of just five days, so they must constantly be replenished.
Local residents can participate in upcoming blood drives at the following nearest locations:
Aug. 31: Mary Mount Manor, 313 Augustine Rd., Eureka, 2 p.m. to 5 p.m.
Aug. 30: Waterford Manors, 724 Overlook Circle Dr., Manchester, 4 p.m. to 7 p.m.
Sept. 2: Valley Park High School, 1 Main St, Valley Park, 9 a.m. to 2 p.m.
Sept. 2: Walmart Supercenter, 131 Eureka Town Center, Eureka, 3 p.m. to 6 p.m.
Sept. 5: Sears, 639 Gravois Bluff Blvd., Ste. A, Fenton, 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.
Sept. 5: The Great Escape, 754 Gravois Bluffs Blvd., Fenton, 2 p.m. to 6 p.m.
Sept. 13: Meramec Valley Middle School, 195 N. Indian Pride Dr. Pacific, 3 p.m. to 7 p.m.
Sept. 14: Central Baptist Church, 601 N. Central Eureka, 3 p.m. to 7 p.m.
Daily: American Red Cross West County Blood Donation Center, 13369 Olive Street Blvd., Chesterfield, 63017.
Blood donations also will boost the Labor Day weekend blood supply. KSDK-TV reported anyone who presents to donate blood with the Red Cross Sept. 2-7 is automatically entered into a drawing for a $1,000 gas card.
How to Donate Blood:
Call 1-800-RED CROSS (1-800-733-2767) or visit redcrossblood.org to make an appointment. All blood types are needed to ensure the Red Cross maintains an adequate blood supply. A blood donor card or driver's license, or two other forms of identification, are required at check-in. Donors must be in general good health, weigh at least 110 pounds and be at least 17 years old (16 with completed Parental Consent Form). New height and weight restrictions apply to donors 18 and younger.
Key Facts about Platelet Donations, per the American Red Cross website:
- Platelet donations are collected at select American Red Cross Blood Donation Centers only.
- Donors should not take any aspirin or products containing aspirin 48 hours before donation.
- You can donate up to 24 times per year.
- Plasma can be collected simultaneously with a platelet donation. Plasma can be collected every 28 days up to 13 times per year.
- The donation takes approximately 1.5 to 2 hours, and may be a single or dual arm procedure depending on the collection device used.
- To pass the time while you donate, you may listen to music or simply relax during the donation process. Most American Red Cross Donation Centers also offer TVs or DVD players. WiFi is also available at some locations.
- If you are a platelet donor, you can still make regular whole blood or double red cell donations.