NPCC will host blood drive to help with national crisis
North Platte Community College is encouraging the public to participate in a blood drive to help alleviate the national blood crisis.
The American Red Cross will be set up from 10:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Jan. 31 in the concessions area of the McDonald-Belton Building on the NPCC South Campus, 601 W. State Farm Rd.
The U.S. is facing the worst blood shortage in more than a decade, according to the Red Cross. Dangerously low blood supply levels are posing a concerning risk to patient care and forcing doctors to make difficult decisions about who receives blood transfusions and who will need to wait until more products become available.
In recent weeks, the Red Cross has had less than a one-day supply of critical blood types on hand and has had to limit blood product distributions to hospitals. At times, as much as one-quarter of hospital blood needs have not been met.
The ongoing pandemic has been part of the problem. The Red Cross continues to confront challenges due to COVID-19, including an approximately 10 percent decline in the number of people donating blood as well as ongoing blood drive cancellations and staffing limitations. The pandemic is being blamed for a 62 percent drop in blood drives at schools and colleges.
Dr. Baia Lasky, medical director for the Red Cross, said the recent surge of COVID-19 cases combined with winter weather has compounded an already dire situation.
Blood and platelet donations are critical to preventing further delays in vital medical treatments. Donors of all blood types – especially type O − are urged to make an appointment to give.
Appointments can be made at redcrossblood.org, through the Red Cross Blood Donor app, by calling 1-800-RED CROSS (1-800-733-2767) or with the blood donor skill on any Alexa-enabled device.
Completion of a RapidPass® online health history questionnaire is encouraged to help speed up the donation process. Instructions can be found at redcrossblood.org/RapidPass and on the blood donor app.
Individuals who are 16 years of age (with parental consent), 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 must meet certain height and weight requirements.
A blood donor card, driver’s license or two other forms of identification will be required at check-in.