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Blood shortage hits emergency levels

The American Red Cross is urging residents to donate blood to help with a blood shortage. File photo
Blood drives planned across Jackson County

Residents can help with a blood shortage by donating at blood drives scheduled across Jackson County in October.

The American Red Cross said it’s experiencing an emergency blood and platelet shortage. The nonprofit organization must collect 10,000 additional blood products each week this month for the blood supply to recover and meet hospital and patient needs, officials said.

The Red Cross is urging donors of all blood types, especially type O, to make an appointment to give.

A summer COVID-19 surge caused blood donor participation to drop by 10%. Blood product distributions to hospitals have remained strong, significantly outpacing donations in recent weeks, Red Cross officials said.

“Fall is typically a time when the blood supply rebounds as donors are more available to give than during the busy summer months, but this year has presented a unique and serious challenge,” said Dr. Pampee Young, chief medical officer for the Red Cross. “While it’s clear the pandemic continues to weigh heavily on our minds, the Red Cross asks the public to remember donating blood and platelets is essential to the many patients that rely on lifesaving transfusions every day.”

Blood donation sites are following safety and infection control measures, including the wearing of face masks by donors and staff.

The following blood drives are planned in Jackson County:

  • 1 p.m. to 6 p.m., Thursday, Oct. 7, Medford Donor Center, 1174 Progress Dr. Suite 102, Medford (sponsored by GoldRush Cider/Pint for a Pint drive)
  • 9 a.m. to 2 p.m., Friday, Oct. 8, Ashpole Community Center, 17 Buchanan, Eagle Point
  • 1 p.m. to 6 p.m., Wednesday, Oct. 13, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints Cultural Hall, 2900 Juanipero Way, Medford
  • 12-6 p.m., Thursday, Oct. 14, First Presbyterian Church Fellowship Hall, 2004 Siskiyou Blvd., Ashland
  • 12-6 p.m., Friday, Oct. 15, First United Methodist Church Wesley Hall, 175 N. Main St., Ashland
  • 12-5 p.m., Monday, Oct. 18, New Life Church of the Nazarene Gym, 1974 E. McAndrews, Medford

To donate blood, individuals need to bring a blood donor card or driver’s license or two other forms of identification that 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 must meet certain height and weight requirements.

To make an appointment, use the Red Cross Blood Donor App, visit RedCrossBlood.org or call 1-800-RED-CROSS (1-800-733-2767).

Donors can also save up to 15 minutes at the blood drive by completing a RapidPass. With RapidPass, donors complete the pre-donation reading and health history questionnaire online, on the day of donation, from a mobile device or computer. To complete a RapidPass, follow the instructions at RedCrossBlood.org/RapidPass or use the Red Cross Blood Donor App.