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Red Cross in urgent need of blood donations

Red Cross in urgent need of blood donations

June 19th, 2019 by Liz Morales in Local News

Tim Baker of California sits back and donates blood June 12 at St. Paul's Lutheran Church. Baker said he has donated units "quite a bit" as he does his part to give blood each time there is a Moniteau County blood drive.

Photo by Liz Morales /News Tribune.

Summer is the time for a good, warm break and for vacations and reverie.

But this time of year does not always lead to necessary blood donations for the American Red Cross, which is why the organization is in urgent need.

St. Paul's Lutheran Church is one location where donors can give blood several times each year. This is precisely what a good number of Moniteau County residents did June 12.

Leslie Powell, a member of St. Paul's and volunteer for the blood drive, said the turnout was impressive for this summer drive. "Right now, the Red Cross has a three-day supply," she said. "But we've had a lot of people show up this time."

Joe Zydlo, American Red Cross Blood Services external communications manager, said each year the supply begins to "taper off" when school lets out.

"Twenty percent of our drives are at schools," he said. "So we're 20 percent in the hole going into summer when they're out. People are thinking about going on vacation, traveling and sports during the summer. It's similar to the other holidays when we get closer to December, so there's a shortage in January."

Zydlo said the Red Cross came up with a visual campaign to combat these shortages: The Missing Types Campaign.

"This is the second year we've launched a visual map in the U.S. on types A, B and O," he said. "So brands that have those letters in their names have omitted them to show how different the world would look."

One example Zydlo gave for the Missing Types Campaign was the Saint Louis Cardinals. The team showed signs where A, B and O are missing. This problem is faced when the Red Cross does not have those blood types in supply.

According to a press release, blood transfusion is the fourth most common inpatient hospital procedure in the nation. The only source for these transfusions comes from volunteer blood donors. But only three out of 100 people in the U.S. give blood.

Cliff Numark, senior vice president of the Red Cross Blood Services, said the shortage for type O blood arose in May of this year.

"When this happens, medical procedures could be delayed because blood products are not available," he said. "That's why we're asking those eligible to help fill the missing types by making a donation appointment today."

To be eligible, donors must:

  • be in good health and feeling well
  • must be at least 16 years old
  • weigh at least 110 pounds

The next blood drives in Moniteau County are from 2-7 p.m. June 19 at the Knights of Columbus in Tipton and from 3-7 p.m. June 27 at the Jamestown Community Center.