Blood banks could use donations

Supplies down after drives canceled due to wintry weather

By Patty Hastings, Columbian breaking news reporter

Published:

 

Blood drives scheduled for this week

Vancouver

Blood Donation Center

Where: 5109 N.E. 82nd Ave., 1-800-733-2767

When: 1:30 to 7 p.m. today and Tuesday; 10:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. Wednesday; closed Thursday; 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. Friday; 8 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. Saturday.

Fred Meyer Grand Central

Where: 2500 Columbia House Blvd.

When: 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. today, Dec. 30.

Southwest Washington

American Red Cross Chapter

Where: 3114 E. Fourth Plain Blvd.

When: 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Tuesday, Dec. 31.

The Bedford

Where: 13303 S.E. McGillivray Blvd.

When: 10 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Thursday, Jan. 2.

Albertsons

Where: 5000 East Fourth Plain Blvd.

When: 2 p.m. to 7 p.m. Thursday, Jan. 2.

East Vancouver Dentistry

Where: 217 S.E. 136th Ave.

When: 1 to 6 p.m. Friday, Jan. 3.

Now that the holiday gift-giving season is behind us, consider an often-overlooked gift this time of year: blood.

While the American Red Cross typically sees a drop in donations during the winter holiday season, nasty weather earlier in the month canceled and delayed local blood drives. That means the supply is even lower than usual.

Daphne Mathew, spokeswoman for Pacific Northwest blood services, estimates that six blood drives were canceled in the region. She said high school blood drives are big contributors to the blood supply and are difficult to reschedule.

O-negative and B-negative are the most-needed blood types, and among the most rare. (O-negative blood can be given to anyone needing blood, regardless of the recipient's type.)

The organization says it must collect about 15,000 pints of blood every day to meet the needs of patients at hospitals and transfusion centers across the country. Blood donations are used to treat cancer patients, trauma victims, premature babies and those living with chronic blood diseases. Each donation can save up to three lives.

If you decide to donate, bring a blood donor's card or driver's license, or two other forms of identification. Donors must be age 17 or older, weigh at least 110 pounds and have generally good health.

All who donate blood through Friday will be given a long-sleeve American Red Cross T-shirt.