Red Cross urges public to give blood now


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The American Red Cross is experiencing a severe winter blood shortage and is urging the public to give blood now. According to the American Red Cross, since December 1, 2016 about 300 blood drives across 27 states have been forced to cancel due to inclement winter weather, resulting in more than 10,500 blood and platelet donations going uncollected. Despite the weather, hospital patients still rely on transfusions.

Currently, blood donations are being distributed to hospitals faster than they are coming in. Jim Taylor, a blood donor who knows how it feels to have a loved one waiting for a transfusion, says, "When the Red Cross says there is a shortage, they are not exaggerating."

Jim's son Aaron was born with a rare liver condition. In the short two months of his life, he received 115 blood products. Jim says each transfusion gave his family more time with his son, so he encourages others to give.

"I know from experience that what they are saying is somewhere there is a father waiting on the donation that will save his son's life When the Red Cross asks for help, what that means is a new dad is praying for a miracle," says Jim.

All blood types are needed to ensure a reliable supply for patients. A blood donor card or driver's license or two other forms of identification are required at check-in.

To make an appointment to give blood, download the Red Cross Blood Donor App, visit redcrossblood.org or call 1-800-Red-Cross. To save time, donors can make appointments and complete the Rapid Pass online health history questionnaire at redcrossblood.org/rapidpass.

The American Red Cross supplies about 40 percent of the nation's blood. It's a not-for-profit organization that depends on volunteers and the generosity of the public to perform its mission. For more information, visit redcross.org. The Red Cross also can be found on Twitter at @redcross.

Here are few of the upcoming blood donation opportunities in Riverside County:

Murrieta–February 17 from 12 p.m. to 6 p.m. at Tavern Grille, 28039 Scott Rd, Unit K, and at Rancho Springs Medical Center, 25520 Medical Dr.

Temecula–February 18 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. at Starbucks, 29588 Rancho California Rd. Ste. K-13.

Norco–February 23 from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. at Norco College, 2001 3rd St.

Lake Elsinore–February 23 from 9:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. at Lake Elsinore Cultural Center, 183 North Main St.

Eastvale–February 27 from 1:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. at Eastvale San Antonio Medical Plaza, 12442 Limonite Ave.

Riverside–February 28 from 7:30 a.m. to 7:30 p.m. at Riverside Community Hospital, 4445 Magnolia Ave.