By Starla Pointer • Staff Writer • 

Blood supply at crisis level; several local drives planned

News-Register file photo
News-Register file photo

Several local blood drives are planned in the next few weeks as the American Red Cross tries to restock its supplies during what it calls “a national blood crisis.”

McMinnville, Amity and Sheridan high schools are among sites that frequently collect blood for the Red Cross. So are the Carlton American Legion Post, various churches and businesses such as Wilco and Lowe's.

Donations from these drives help multiple patients who need transfusions, blood during surgery and infusions of plasma or platelets, Red Cross officials said.

Amity High School senior Haley Vanderzanden has organized three community blood drives at her school and helped with several others. She is planning another drive this spring.

“It’s so important with all the health care needs,” she said.

She noted that each of AHS drives have resulted in about 100 pints for the Red Cross.

Vanderzanden said she encourages everyone who can give blood to do so. Donors will rewarded with the good feeling that comes from helping others.

According to the Red Cross, giving blood is especially important now. Dawn Johnson, regional communications manager, called the supply is “dangerously low” and “truly at crisis levels.”

The Red Cross has had less than a one-day supply available in recent weeks, she said. The low supply is partly due to the pandemic, which has led to fewer blood drives, fewer donors and fewer personnel available to draw blood; in addition, winter weather has complicated travel.

“Doctors are being forced to decide which patients receive blood and who must wait,” said Angel Montes, Red Cross regional donor services executive.

He and other Red Cross officials are urging donors of all blood types, especially Type O, to make an appointment to give blood or platelets.

The situation is so dire, Johnson said, that the Red Cross is offering an incentive to people who donate blood in January: the chance to win a trip to Super Bowl LVI in Los Angeles or a home theater package and a $500 e-gift card.

In addition to blood donors, the Red Cross is always looking for volunteers to help with blood drives or to transport blood from a donation site to the Portland offices.

Upcoming blood drives in Yamhill County include:

- McMinnville High School, 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Tuesday, Jan. 25. Because of COVID precautions, it may not be open to the public.

- Carlton American Legion Memorial Post 173, 158 E. Main St., Carlton, 1 to 6 p.m. Feb. 7. Another drive is scheduled 1 to 6 p.m. May 9.

- Baker Creek Community Church, 325 N.W. Baker Creek Road, 9 am. to 2:30 p.m. Jan. 18. Appointments may be full.

- Wilco Farm Store, 2741 N.E. Highway 99W, McMinnville, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Jan. 28. Appointments may be full.

- Lowe’s, 1250 S.W. Booth Bend Road, McMinnville, 8:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Feb. 11.

- McMinnville First Baptist Church, 125 S.E. Cowls St., 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. March 3.

- Sheridan High School, 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. May 11.

Go to the website redcrossblood.org to register to give blood or to find out if there are openings at blood drives.

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