Submitted by Sue Thesenga, ARC

ST PAUL, MN – There’s no way to predict when or where an accident will happen. That’s why the American Red Cross needs donors to give blood and platelets during Trauma Awareness Month this May and throughout the year to help ensure that trauma centers are prepared the moment an injured patient arrives.

Donors of all blood types are urged to give now to help meet the needs of trauma patients and others with serious medical conditions. Make an appointment to donate blood by downloading the free Red Cross Blood Donor App, visiting RedCrossBlood.org or calling 1-800-RED CROSS (1-800-733-2767).

In trauma situations, when there’s no time to check a patient’s blood type, emergency personnel reach for type O negative red blood cells and type AB plasma because they can be transfused to patients of any blood type. Less than 7 percent of the population has type O negative blood, and only about 4 percent of the population has type AB blood.

Platelets may also be needed to help with clotting in cases of massive bleeding. Because platelets must be transfused within five days of donation, there is a constant – often critical – need to keep up with hospital demand.

American Red Cross Blood Donation Center - Chippewa Valley Blood Donation Center, 3485 E. Hamilton Ave., Eau Claire. Additonal blood donation opportunities May 1-23 by counties in our area: Dunn - Boyceville, 5/3/2019: 10 a.m. - 4 p.m., Boyceville Middle School, 1003 Tiffany St. Downsville, 5/22/2019: 12 p.m. - 6 p.m., New Hope Lutheran Church, N2698 460th St. Menomonie, 5/6/2019: 1 p.m. - 7 p.m., Family Video, 1412 9th St., 5/7/2019: 10 a.m. - 4 p.m., Alliance Church of Menomonie, 502 21st St. N., 5/23/2019: 1 p.m. - 7 p.m., Cardinal FG, 2200 Stokke Parkway.

Pierce - Ellsworth, 5/20/2019: 12 p.m. - 6 p.m., Zion Covenant Church, 210 N. Beulah St. River Falls; 5/16/2019: 10 a.m. - 4 p.m., Allina Health River Falls Clinic, 1629 E. Division St.

St. Croix - Hudson, 5/2/2019: 9 a.m. - 3 p.m., Hudson Hospital & Clinic, 405 Stageline Road; 5/3/2019: 12:30 p.m. - 6:30 p.m., YMCA in Hudson, 2211 Vine St.; 5/6/2019: 12 p.m. - 6 p.m., Football Makes Us Family, 411 County Road UU; 5/6/2019: 1 p.m. - 7 p.m., Saint Patrick's Catholic Church, 1500 Vine St.; 5/9/2019: 1 p.m. - 7 p.m., St. Paul's Episcopal Church, 502 County Road UU; 5/13/2019: 1 p.m. - 6 p.m., Culver's, 151 Carmichael Road; 5/15/2019: 12 p.m. - 6 p.m., Snap Fitness, 824 Carmichael Road; 5/17/2019: 9 a.m. - 3 p.m., Citizens State Bank, 375 Stageline Road. New Richmond, 5/6/2019: 12 p.m. - 6 p.m., St. Luke's Lutheran Church, 365 W. River Drive. Somerset, 5/7/2019: 1 p.m. - 7 p.m., Christ Lutheran Church, 510 Germain. Woodville, 5/14/2019: 12 p.m. - 6 p.m., Zion Lutheran Church, 221 N. Lockwood 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 in most states (16 with parental consent where allowed by state law), 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 and platelet donors can 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, before arriving at the blood drive. To get started, follow the instructions at RedCrossBlood.org/RapidPass or use the Blood Donor App.