Red Cross in need of blood donations


The Daily Illini File Photo

A person donates blood at a blood drive at Newman Hall. The Red Cross encourages students to donate blood from noon to 4 p.m. at Newman Hall on March 7 and at Psi Upsilon on March 8.

By The Daily Illini Staff Report

As a part of the celebration of Red Cross Month this year, the American Red Cross is encouraging eligible donors to give blood.

The Red Cross is in critical need of blood and platelets, said Laura McGuire, external communications manager for the Red Cross.

Because January and February bring with them harsh weather and the flu, the Red Cross has not seen a lot of regular donors so far this year.

“More than 100 blood drives have been forced to cancel due to the weather so far in February, and this is causing over 3,600 blood and platelet donations to go uncollected,” McGuire said.

The Red Cross is calling for the donation of all types of blood, especially type O. Approximately 2,600 hospitals nationwide rely on these blood products.

McGuire said they don’t have a need for a specific type of blood, but are always looking for type O, since it is a universal donor.

“Blood cannot be manufactured; the only way we can get blood is from one another, and there is a constant need for blood,” McGuire said. “I tell people it’s like a cell phone — it constantly needs to be recharged, and so does our blood supply.”

McGuire said one thing students can do is volunteer for blood drives with their local chapters.

“(Another thing students) can do is they can get a good night’s rest, drink plenty of fluids and come to a blood drive and know that someone in the United States needs blood every two seconds,” McGuire said.

There will be two donation opportunities on campus — from noon to 4 p.m. at Newman Hall on March 7 and Psi Upsilon on March 8.

People who are interested in donating should make an appointment before going to give blood by downloading the free Red Cross Blood Donor App, visiting or calling 1-800-733-2767.

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