Submitted by Sue Thesenga, ARC

ST. PAUL, MN — The American Red Cross (ARC) encourages eligible blood donors to donate blood this spring to ensure a sufficient supply for patients at approximately 2,600 hospitals across the country.

Donated blood is perishable and must constantly be replenished to keep up with hospital patient need. Red blood cells are the blood component most frequently transfused by hospitals and must be used within 42 days of donation.

Eligible donors can give red blood cells through either a regular whole blood donation or a double red cell donation, where available. During a double red cell donation, two units of red blood cells are collected while most of the plasma and platelets are returned to the donor. Double red cell donors must meet additional eligibility criteria, which will be determined at the donation appointment.

Debbie Cody-Nabors is a blood donor who gives double red cells. Her mother received transfusions twice a week during treatment for aplastic anemia. “I donate blood as often as I can in memory of my mom,” she said. “Please donate blood if you can to help save lives as you never know when you’ll be on the receiving end.” 

Donors with all blood types are needed, especially those with types O, A negative and B negative. Whole blood can be donated every 56 days, up to six times a year, and double red cells may be donated every 112 days, up to three times per year.

To make an appointment to give blood, download the free Red Cross Blood Donor App, visit redcrossblood.org or call 1-800-RED CROSS (1-800-733-2767).

American Red Cross Blood Donation Center - Chippewa Valley Blood Donation Center

3485 East Hamilton Avenue, Eau Claire, WI. Mondays, Tuesdays and Wednesdays: 12:30 – 6:30 p.m., Thursdays and Fridays: 7 a.m. – 1 p.m., Saturdays: 7 a.m. – 1 p.m.

Additional blood donation opportunities in our area counties:

Dunn – Colfax, 4/22/2016: 12 p.m. - 6 p.m., Colfax United Methodist Church, 501 Cedar St.

Pierce – Elmwood, 4/14/2016: 9 a.m. - 2 p.m., Elmwood High School, 213 South Scott St., River Falls, 4/19/2016: 1 p.m. - 7 p.m., First Covenant Church, 1374 N. Main St.

Polk – Amery, 4/25/2016: 12 p.m. - 6 p.m., Our Savior Lutheran Church, 217 Deronda St., 4/26/2016: 12 p.m. - 6 p.m., Our Savior Lutheran Church, 217 Deronda St. Dresser, 4/18/2016: 12:30 p.m. - 6:30 p.m., Peace Lutheran Church, 2355 Clark Road. Osceola, 4/29/2016: 1 p.m. - 7 p.m., Osceola Medical Center, 2630 65th Ave.

Saint Croix – Baldwin, 4/18/2016: 10 a.m. - 4 p.m., Baldwin Area Medical Center, 730 10th Ave. Hudson, 4/22/2016: 12 p.m. - 6 p.m., Mt. Zion Lutheran Church, 505 13th St. S. New Richmond, 4/19/2016: 12 p.m. - 6 p.m., American Legion Butler-Harmon Post 80, 1260 Wall St.

How to donate blood - Simply download the American Red Cross Blood Donor App, visit redcrossblood.org or call 1-800-RED CROSS (1-800-733-2767) to make an appointment or for more information. 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. Individuals who are 17 years of age (16 with parental consent in some states), 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 also have to meet certain height and weight requirements.

Blood donors can now save time at their next donation by using RapidPass to complete their pre-donation reading and health history questionnaire online, on the day of their donation, prior to arriving at the blood drive. To get started and learn more, visit redcrossblood.org/RapidPass and follow the instructions on the site.

The ARC shelters, feeds and provides emotional support to victims of disasters; supplies about 40 percent of the nation’s blood; teaches skills that save lives; provides international humanitarian aid; and supports military members and their families. The Red Cross is a not-for-profit organization that depends on volunteers and the generosity of the American public to perform its mission. For more information, please visit redcross.orgor cruzrojaamericana.org, or visit us on Twitter at @RedCross.