Red Cross, severe shortage of type O blood

REGION – The American Red Cross has a severe shortage of type O blood and urges type O donors – as well as eligible blood and platelet donors of all blood types – to give now to ensure lifesaving patient care isn’t impacted this winter.

Type O blood is the most in-demand blood type, helping patients facing life-threatening conditions and emergencies every day. Type O negative blood can be transfused to patients with any blood type and is what emergency room personnel reach for when there’s no time to determine a patient’s blood type. Type O positive blood is also especially needed because it is the most transfused blood type and can be given to Rh-positive patients of any blood type.

Having a readily available blood supply is critical for patients like Luna Giles, who at the age of 1-and-a-half has already underwent two heart surgeries and required over a dozen transfusions.

“Each time, the nurse would bring in a bag of blood for her transfusion, I noticed a small label on each one that said ‘Donation Type: Volunteer,’” said Luna’s mom, Jessie Giles. “It made me think about each individual who donated blood for my daughter. I would never know who those individuals were, and they would never see the effect their donation had. But each of those individuals, strangers to us, absolutely saved my daughter’s life. They may never know it, but to me, they are heroes.”

Right now, the Red Cross has less than a three-day supply of most blood types, and blood products are being distributed to hospitals faster than donations are coming in. Recent snowstorms and severe weather in many parts of the country have forced hundreds of blood drive cancellations, causing more than 20,000 blood and platelet donations to go uncollected.

Individuals of all blood types – especially type O – are asked to make an appointment to donate blood or platelets by downloading the free American Red Cross Blood Donor App, visiting www.RedCrossBlood.org or calling 1-800-RED CROSS (1-800-733-2767).

HBO and Red Cross invite Game of Thrones fans to bleed #ForTheThrone. To celebrate the final season of Game of Thrones, HBO and the Red Cross have partnered to ask fans and blood donors to bleed #ForTheThrone this March. This is the largest blood donation promotional effort by an entertainment company in Red Cross history – with six days of coordinated giving March 7-12 from fans and blood donors at blood drives in 43 states across the U.S.

As part of the partnership, fans who come to donate blood or platelets with the Red Cross now through March 17 will automatically be entered for a chance to win one of five trips to the season 8 world premiere of Game of Thrones. The trip includes travel for two, up to two nights hotel accommodations, and a gift card for expenses. Terms and conditions apply and are available at www.RedCrossBlood.org/HBOGameofThrones.

Additionally, those who come to donate March 7-12 will also receive exclusive Game of Thrones swag including a T-shirt, stickers to unlock a unique Snapchat filter, and other items, while supplies last.

Upcoming blood donation opportunities

  • March 1, 12:30-5:30 p.m., American Legion, 4 Court St., Windsor
  • March 4, noon – 6 p.m., Green Mountain Church of Christ, 522 Route 4A West, Castleton
  • March 5, 11:30 a.m. – 5 p.m., Waitsfield Telecom Garage, 3898 Main Street, Waitsfield
  • March 6, 11 a.m. – 4 p.m., Elks Lodge #345, 44-46 Pleasant Street, Rutland
  • March 11, 12:30-5:30 p.m., Ludlow Community Center, 37 Main Street, Ludlow
  • March 11, 10 a.m. – 3 p.m., Landmark College, 19 River Rd. South, Putney
  • March 12, 11:30 a.m. – 5 p.m. Fraternal Order of the Eagles, 54 Chickering Drive, Unit 1 Brattleboro
  • March 16, 11 a.m. – 4 p.m., Diamond Run Mall, 46 Diamond Row Place, Rutland
  • March 18, 12-5 p.m., Newsbank Conference Center, 352 Main Street, Chester
  • March 21, 12-5 p.m.,United Church of Bellows Falls, 8 School St. Bellows Falls
  • March 23, 8:30 a.m. – 1:30 p.m., Stockbridge Central School, 2933 Vermont Route 107, Stockbridge
  • March 28, 9 a.m. – 2 p.m., Rutland High School, 22 Stratton Rd. Rutland
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