Tuckerton-Little Egg Harbor Leader

Episcopal Church Sponsors Needed Blood Drive Feb. 11

Feb 01, 2019

Tuckerton’s Episcopal Church of the Holy Spirit, at 220 East Main St. (Route 9), is sponsoring an American Red Cross blood drive from 2:30 to 7:30 p.m. on Monday, Feb. 11. As of this writing, donation times on the quarter-hour were still available for whole blood donations between 3 and 7:30 p.m.

Slots for “Power Red” donations, in which two pints of blood can be safely donated because a special machine retains the red blood cells while returning plasma and platelets to the donor, are open at 4:30, 5:30 and 6:30 p.m. Power Red donations take about 30 minutes more time than a regular donation. The Red Cross will not be collecting plasma or platelets at these times.

Walk-ins are accepted if there are still openings or no-shows the afternoon and evening of the drive. However, no guarantee can be made that you can be fitted in, so appointments are recommended.

To schedule, visit the website redcrossblood.org and click on “Donate Blood.” Enter your ZIP Code and click on “Find a Drive” and scroll down to Monday, Feb. 11, 2019, “Church of the Holy Spirit.” Click the red button on the right hand side of the screen. It would be appreciated if, after scheduling your appointment, you could complete the “RapidPass” procedure that would speed your time checking into the drive.

You can also schedule by emailing richardmellerup@gmail.com with your first and last names, date of birth, email address and ZIP Code. Indicate your three preferences of time slots. Or you can call Rick at 609-879-1578.

Finally, you could call 1-800-RED CROSS (1-800-733-2767) for availability.

Visiting redcrossblood.org can answer many questions you may have about donating blood, such as eligibility requirements and the donating process.

The American Red Cross says the need for blood donations at this time is even more critical than normal. Winter weather has forced the cancellation of many blood drives, and many more cancellations were expected for the week starting Jan. 27, considering weather forecasters were calling for record-low temperatures for much of the country. The Red Cross estimates more than 4,600 blood and platelet donations went uncollected due to weather-caused cancellations so far this rather rough winter.

The federal government shutdown also affected donations. More than 4 percent of Red Cross blood collections come from drives sponsored by the military and local, state and federal government agencies. About 30 blood drives hosted by federal offices had to be canceled during the government shutdown, leaving more than 900 donations uncollected.

The Red Cross issued an emergency call for donations earlier this month. Right now, Red Cross blood donations are being distributed to hospitals faster than they are coming in, and there is less than a three-day supply of most blood types on hand. The Red Cross strives to maintain a five-day supply of blood to meet the needs of patients and to be prepared for emergencies that require significant volumes of donated blood products.

Although all blood types are needed, there is, as usual, an especially high demand for type O “universal” donors. —R.M.

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