Donors needed: Red Cross still facing blood shortage

Blood drive at NMU_37152785-159532

UPPER PENINSULA, Mich. (WJMN) – The American Red Cross is hosting several blood drives across the Upper Peninsula and Wisconsin to help fill a shortage of blood.

Donors are needed of all types, especially type O and those giving platelets. The Red Cross says they are working around the clock to help stock hospitals with blood that are experiencing an unusually high number of traumas and emergency room visits along with overdoses and resulting transplants.

The blood shortage is causing some hospitals to slow the pace of elective surgeries until the blood supply stabilizes, this could delay crucial patient care.

Summer is typically a time when blood donations decrease. This year is especially challenging because many Americans have received their COVID-19 vaccinations and are resuming summer activities after more than a year of limited interactions and travel.

Scheduling to donate blood can be done by using the Red Cross Blood Donor App, visiting, calling 1-800-RED-CROSS (1-800-733-2767) or enabling the Blood Donor Skill on any Alexa Echo device.

Those who donate July 1 – 6 will receive a Red Cross embroidered hat by mail, while they are available. Donors who give July 7 – 31 will receive a $10 gift card by email and be entered for a chance to win gas for a year.

Having had the COVID-19 vaccine does not change eligibility for donating blood in most cases, but knowing the name of the manufacturer of the vaccine received is important in determining eligibility.

Blood Donations June 28 – July 15:

  • Escanaba, Michigan
    • July 6; 12:00 P.M. – 6:00 P.M., Delta Plaza Mall, 301 N. Lincoln.
    • July 7; 9:00 A.M. – 2:00 P.M., Delta Plaza Mall, 301 N. Lincoln.
    • July 8; 10:00 A.M. – 3:00 P.M., Delta Plaza Mall, 301 N. Lincoln.
    • July 29; 11:30 A.M. – 4:30 P.M., Delta Plaza Mall, 301 N. Lincoln.
  • Bessemer
    • July 7; 11:00 A.M. – 4:00 P.M. Bessemer VFW Hall, 605 W. Lead St.
  • Ironwood
    • July 21; 11:00 A.M. – 5:00 P.M., Gogebic Community College, E4946 Jackson Rd.
  • Crystal Falls
    • July 15; 10:00 A.M. – 3:00 P.M., Christ United Methodist Church, 20 S. 5th St.
  • Iron River
    • July 22; 8:30 A.M. – 3:00 P.M., VFW Iron River, 94 E. Genesee St.
  • Menominee
    • July 14; 11:00 A.M. – 4:00 P.M., Bethel Lutheran Church, 1309 14th Ave.
  • Stephenson
    • July 21; 10:00 A.M. – 3:00 P.M., American Legion, W5544 River Rd.

Individuals need to bring a donor card or driver’s license, or two other forms of identification required for check in to donate blood. Individuals 17 years of age in most states or 16 with parental consent, weigh at least 110 pounds and are in generally good health may be eligible to donate blood. High school students and donors 18 years of age and younger also must meet certain height and weight requirements.

Donors can also save time at blood drives by completing a RapidPass. RapidPass allows donors to complete pre-donation reading and health history questionnaire online, on the day of donation.

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