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The American Red Cross is facing a national blood crisis. According to the source, this is the worst blood shortage that the nation is facing in more than a decade. Patient care is at risk because of the dangerously low blood supply. This issue is causing doctors to make difficult decisions. Others must wait to receive blood transfusions until more products become available.

In recent weeks, the Red Cross had less than a one-day supply of critical blood types. Due to this, they have had to limit blood product distributions to hospitals. Likewise, as much as one-quarter of hospital blood needs are not being met.

“Winter weather across the country and the recent surge of COVID-19 cases are compounding the already-dire situation facing the blood supply,” said Dr. Baia Lasky, Medical Director for the Red Cross. “Please, if you are eligible, make an appointment to give blood or platelets in the days and weeks ahead to ensure no patient is forced to wait for critical care.”

Pandemic Challenges

The Red Cross continues to confront relentless challenges due to COVID-19. Sadly, there has been about a 10% overall decline in the number of people donating blood. In addition, there are ongoing blood drive cancellations and staffing limitations. The pandemic challenges include a 62% drop in blood drives at schools and colleges.

Seeking Donations

The Red Cross is seeking donations immediately. Blood and platelet donations are critically needed. Donations will help prevent further delays in vital medical treatments, and donors of all blood types – and especially type O − are urged to make an appointment now to give in the weeks ahead.

It is during the coming month that about 60% of donation appointments will remain unfilled in the Wisconsin Red Cross Region unless changes are made. Appointments can also be made through the Red Cross Blood Donor App, visiting RedCrossBlood.org or calling 1-800-RED-CROSS (1-800-733-2767).

Upcoming Events

  • Beaver Dam
    • 1/25/2022: 8:30 a.m. – 1:30 p.m., Beaver Dam High School, 500 Gould St.
    • 1/27/2022: 10:30 a.m. – 3:30 p.m., YMCA of Dodge County, 220 Corporate Dr.
  • Fox Lake
    • 2/7/2022: noon – 5:30 p.m., Fox Lake Community Center, 248 E State St.
  • Horicon
    • 2/9/2022: noon – 5 p.m., IAM LL873 Union Hall, 258 Barstow St.
  • Iron Ridge
    • 2/7/2022: 1:30 p.m. – 6 p.m., St Michael’s Lutheran Church, N4911 Gray Road
  • Juneau
    • 1/19/2022: 8:30 a.m. – 1:30 p.m., Dodgeland High School, 401 S Western Ave.
  • Lomira
    • 1/24/2022: noon – 6 p.m., Trinity United Methodist Church, 300 Church St.
  • Watertown
    • 1/17/2022: 1:30 p.m. – 6 p.m., Immanuel Lutheran Church, N554 County Road R
  • Fond du Lac
    • 1/20/2022: 10 a.m. – 3 p.m., Thrive Church, 79 E 2nd St.
    • 1/25/2022: 9 a.m. – 1:30 p.m., American Legion, 500 Fond du Lac Ave.
    • 1/25/2022: 1:30 p.m. – 6 p.m., American Legion, 500 Fond du Lac Ave.
  • Mount Calvary
    • 1/15/2022: 9 a.m. – 2 p.m., Mount Calvary Fire Station, 999 Fond du Lac St.
  • Rosendale
    • 1/18/2022: 1 p.m. – 6 p.m., Peace Lutheran Church, 124 S Main St.
  • Fort Atkinson
    • 2/7/2022: noon – 6 p.m., Fort Atkinson Armory, 420 Bark River Dr.
  • Johnson Creek
    • 1/25/2022: 9 a.m. – 2 p.m., Immanuel Evangelical Lutheran Church, W4095 County Road B
    • 2/3/2022: noon – 6 p.m., Community Center, 417 Union St.
  • Lake Mills
    • 2/8/2022: noon – 6 p.m., City Hall, 200 Water St.
  • Watertown
    • 1/31/2022: noon – 6 p.m., Christ United Methodist Church, 112 Hall St.
    • 2/1/2022: 10 a.m. – 4 p.m., Christ United Methodist Church, 112 Hall St.
  • Kenosha
    • 2/2/2022: 10 a.m. – 3 p.m., Herzing University, 5800 7th Ave.
  • Brown Deer
    • 1/21/2022: 1 p.m. – 6 p.m., St Mark Evangelical Lutheran Church, 8635 N 60th St.
  • Franklin
    • 1/26/2022: 2 p.m. – 6 p.m., Franklin Public Library, 9151 W Loomis Road
  • Greendale
    • 1/21/2022: 1 p.m. – 6 p.m., The Hose Tower, 5699 Parking St.
    • 2/11/2022: 9 a.m. – 2 p.m., The Hose Tower, 5699 Parking St.
  • Milwaukee
    • 1/25/2022: 9 a.m. – 2 p.m., Milwaukee Safety Academy, 6680 North Teutonia Ave.
    • 1/25/2022: 11 a.m. – 5 p.m., Milwaukee Academy of Science, 2000 W. Kilbourn Ave.
    • 1/26/2022: 10 a.m. – 3 p.m., General Mitchell Airport Delta Air Lines, 5300 S Howell Ave.
    • 1/26/2022: 1 p.m. – 6 p.m., Milwaukee Community Sailing Center, 1450 North Lincoln Memorial Drive
    • 2/1/2022: 1 p.m. – 6 p.m., St Adalbert Parish and School Milwaukee, 1913 W Becher St.
    • 2/4/2022: 8:15 a.m. – 2 p.m., Ronald Reagan High School, 4965 S 20th St.
    • 2/8/2022: 10:45 a.m. – 2:45 p.m., 100 Fitness, 4927 N Lydell Ave.
    • 2/10/2022: 10 a.m. – 4 p.m., UWM Student Union, 2200 Kenwood Blvd.
    • 2/11/2022: 9:30 a.m. – 3:30 p.m., Marquette Gymnasium, 1508 W. Clybourn St.
  • Oak Creek
    • 1/18/2022: 1 p.m. – 6 p.m., Oak Creek West Middle School, 8401 S 13th St.
  • South Milwaukee
    • 1/20/2022: 1 p.m. – 6 p.m., South Milwaukee Police Department, 2424 15th Ave.
  • Cedarburg
    • 1/20/2022: 11 a.m. – 3:30 p.m., St. Francis Borgia Catholic Church, 1375 Covered Bridge Road
  • Port Washington
    • 1/22/2022: 9 a.m. – 2 p.m., Masonic Lodge, 504 W Grand Ave.
  • Burlington
    • 1/21/2022: 10 a.m. – 3 p.m., Wisconsin Army National Guard, 240 S Wisconsin St.
  • Cedar Grove
    • 2/8/2022: 12:30 p.m. – 5:30 p.m., Faith Reformed Church, 243 S Fourth St.
  • Elkhart Lake
    • 1/26/2022: 11 a.m. – 4 p.m., Elkhart Lake High School, 201 Lincoln St.
  • Plymouth
    • 1/13/2022: 11:30 a.m. – 5:30 p.m., Good Shepherd Lutheran Church, N5990 Country Aire Road
  • Sheboygan
    • 1/14/2022: 10 a.m. – 3 p.m., Sheboygan Trades and Labor Hall, 1104 Wisconsin Ave.
    • 1/21/2022: 10 a.m. – 3 p.m., Sheboygan Trades and Labor Hall, 1104 Wisconsin Ave.
    • 1/28/2022: 10 a.m. – 3 p.m., Sheboygan Trades and Labor Hall, 1104 Wisconsin Ave.
    • 2/4/2022: 10 a.m. – 3 p.m., Sheboygan Trades and Labor Hall, 1104 Wisconsin Ave.
    • 2/11/2022: 10 a.m. – 3 p.m., Sheboygan Trades and Labor Hall, 1104 Wisconsin Ave.
  • Sheboygan Falls
    • 1/13/2022: 9 a.m. – 2 p.m., Berkshire Community Gym, 101 School St.
  • East Troy
    • 1/17/2022: noon – 5 p.m., East Troy Bible Church, 2660 North St. – Hwy 20
  • Elkhorn
    • 2/9/2022: 8:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m., Elkhorn Area High School, 482 E Geneva St.
  • Lake Geneva
    • 2/11/2022: noon – 5 p.m., Mt. Zion Christian Church, 2330 WI-120
  • Walworth
    • 1/31/2022: 2 p.m. – 6 p.m., Grace Evangelical Free Church, 500 S Main St.
    • 2/1/2022: 2 p.m. – 6 p.m., Grace Evangelical Free Church, 500 S Main St.
  • Whitewater
    • 1/14/2022: noon – 6 p.m., Whitewater, 504 W. Starin Road
  • Jackson
    • 1/19/2022: 2 p.m. – 6 p.m., Jackson Community Center, N165 W20330 Hickory Lane
  • West Bend
    • 2/2/2022: 9 a.m. – 1 p.m., West Bend City Hall, 1115 S Main St.
    • 2/2/2022: 1 p.m. – 5 p.m., West Bend City Hall, 1115 S Main St.
  • Brookfield
    • 1/18/2022: 1 p.m. – 6 p.m., Sendik’s Towne Centre, 18905 W Capitol Drive, Suite C101
    • 1/27/2022: 11 a.m. – 4 p.m., Herzing University, 15895 W Bluemound Road
    • 2/4/2022: 10 a.m. – 3 p.m., Immanuel Lutheran Church and School, 13445 W Hampton Road
    • 2/8/2022: 1 p.m. – 6 p.m., Sheraton Milwaukee Brookfield Hotel, 375 S Moorland Road
  • Delafield
    • 1/24/2022: 10 a.m. – 3 p.m., Town of Delafield Fire Department, W302 N1254 Maple Ave.
  • Hartland
    • 1/19/2022: 2 p.m. – 6 p.m., Zion Lutheran Church and School, 1023 E Capitol Drive
    • 2/3/2022: 9 a.m. – 1:30 p.m., Oakwood Church, 3041 Oakwood Road
  • Menomonee Falls
    • 1/26/2022: 1 p.m. – 6 p.m., St. James Parish, W220 N6588 Town Line Road
    • 2/2/2022: 10 a.m. – 4 p.m., American Legion Post 382, N88 W16652 Main Street
  • Merton
    • 1/31/2022: 1 p.m. – 6 p.m., St. Johns United Church of Christ, N67 W28321 Sussex Road
  • Muskego
    • 1/27/2022: 1 p.m. – 6 p.m., Muskego High School, W185 S8750 Racine Ave.
  • Nashotah
    • 1/25/2022: 9:30 a.m. – 2:30 p.m., MSI General, W215 E Wisconsin Ave.
  • New Berlin
    • 1/21/2022: 9 a.m. – 2 p.m., Woodridge Community Church, 13800 W Howard Ave.
    • 2/10/2022: 10 a.m. – 3 p.m., OAW Indoor Sports Complex, 5330 S Racine Ave.
  • Oconomowoc
    • 1/19/2022: 1 p.m. – 6 p.m., Steel Tank Brewing Co, 1225 Robruck Drive, Unit A
    • 2/4/2022: 9 a.m. – 2 p.m., YMCA at Pabst Farms, 1750 Valley Road
  • Pewaukee
    • 1/20/2022: 12:30 p.m. – 6:30 p.m., Waukesha Blood Donation Center, 2220 Silvernail Road
    • 1/27/2022: 12:30 p.m. – 6:30 p.m., Waukesha Blood Donation Center, 2220 Silvernail Road
    • 2/3/2022: 12:30 p.m. – 6:30 p.m., Waukesha Blood Donation Center, 2220 Silvernail Road
    • 2/10/2022: 12:30 p.m. – 6:30 p.m., Waukesha Blood Donation Center, 2220 Silvernail Road
  • Summit
    • 1/18/2022: 1 p.m. – 6 p.m., Summit Village Hall, 37100 Delafield Road
  • Waukesha
    • 1/28/2022: noon – 5 p.m., Montessori School of Waukesha, 601 N University Drive
    • 2/5/2022: 7 a.m. – noon, Bridge Church, 1314 S Grand Ave.

Safety First

When donating, safety is a top priority. Red Cross blood drive and donation centers follow the highest standards of safety and infection control. Due to the pandemic, additional precautions  – including face masks for donors and staff, regardless of vaccination status – have been implemented. These steps help to ensure and protect the health of all those in attendance. Donors are  asked to schedule an appointment prior to arriving at the drive.

Sickle Cell Screening

It is important to note, the Red Cross is screening all blood, platelet and plasma donations from self-identified African American donors for the sickle cell trait. This additional screening will provide Black donors with additional health insight and help the Red Cross. The organization will be able to identify compatible blood types more quickly to help patients with sickle cell disease who require trait-negative blood.

Blood transfusions are an essential treatment for those with sickle cell disease, and blood donations from individuals of the same race, ethnicity and blood type have a unique ability to help patients who are fighting sickle cell disease. If you are donating, expect t to receive sickle cell trait screening results, if applicable, within one to two weeks. This is viewable through the Red Cross Blood Donor App and the online donor portal at RedCrossBlood.org.

Saving Time

Those interested in donating can save up to 15 minutes at the blood drive by completing a RapidPass®. RapidPass® allows donors to complete the pre-donation reading and health history questionnaire online. This can be completed on the day of donation, from a mobile device or computer.

Complete a RapidPass® by following the instructions at RedCrossBlood.org/RapidPass or by using the Red Cross Blood Donor App.

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. If you are an individual who is 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 you may be eligible to donate. High school students and other donors 18 years of age and younger also must meet certain height and weight requirements.

NLF Partnership

This January the Red Cross and the NFL are partnering, during National Blood Donor Month, to urge individuals to donate to help tackle the national blood shortage. In addition, those who come to give blood, platelets or plasma in January will automatically get entered for a chance to win a getaway to Super Bowl LVI in Los Angeles. As an extra thank-you from the Red Cross, those who come to donate will also be automatically entered to win a home theater package and a $500 e-gift card. Terms apply; visit RedCrossBlood.org/SuperBowl for more information.

Blood Benefits

Donors are urgently needed. Blood products help individuals in our communities. For example, Kala Breder knows all too well how dire not having blood available can be. In July 2020, hours after the birth of her son, who was delivered by emergency Cesarean section, Breder developed a complication. She began bleeding uncontrollably.

Doctors fought to save her life and they exhausted the entire blood supply at the hospital. Furthermore, they used all available blood within a 45-mile radius. From there, she was flown to another hospital because there wasn’t enough blood locally.

Breder received 58 different blood products and credits the blood products, as they helped save her life. She says, “without one of those, I probably wouldn’t be here,” she said. “I needed every last unit.”

Volunteers Needed

Unable to donate, but still want to help? Consider becoming a volunteer at the Red Cross. They are in need of volunteers to support critical blood collections. Blood drive volunteers play several important roles in the process. Volunteers are needed for greeting, registering, answering questions and providing information to blood donors throughout the donation process.

Other roles include Blood Transportation Specialists. These individuals provide a critical link between blood donors and blood recipients by delivering blood to hospitals. To volunteer to support Red Cross blood collections, visit redcross.org/volunteertoday

More about the American Red Cross

The American Red Cross shelters, feeds and provides comfort to victims of disasters; supplies about 40% of the nation’s blood; teaches skills that save lives; distributes international humanitarian aid; and supports veterans, military members and their families. The Red Cross is a not-for-profit organization that depends on volunteers and the generosity of donors.

Learn more at redcross.org, in Spanish: cruzrojaamericana.org, or visit them on Twitter at @RedCross.


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