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Urgent Need for Blood Donors

Urgent Need for Blood Donors

OMC and American Red Cross Blood Drive August 31

Ozarks Medical Center’s (OMC) and the American Red Cross will host a blood drive Wednesday, August 31, from noon until 6 p.m., at the Willard Hunter Classroom in the OMC Parkway Center.

The American Red Cross has issued a critical appeal for blood and platelet donors across the country. With the nation’s blood supply facing significantly low inventory levels, the blood community encourages individuals throughout the U.S. to schedule an appointment to donate today.

“Maintaining a safe and adequate blood supply is critical to the nation’s public health and a priority for the medical community,” said Miriam A. Markowitz, CEO of AABB. “Every two seconds, someone in the U.S. needs blood. It is indispensable and required in the treatment of millions of patients, including individuals with cancer and other life-threatening diseases, patients undergoing organ transplants and trauma victims.”

Summer is always a challenging time for blood centers to ensure an adequate blood supply due to donors taking vacations and schools being out of session. Despite the season, the need for blood remains constant and patients continue to depend on the generosity of blood donors to meet that need. All blood types are needed.

If you haven't donated blood before, add that to the list of new things to do this summer. You will need a blood donor card or driver's license -- or two other forms of identification -- at check-in. You need to be 17 years of age (16 with parental consent), weigh at least 110 pounds and be in generally good health. High school students and other donors 18 years of age and younger also have to meet certain height and weight requirements.

RapidPass is available to donors and allows them to complete their pre-reading and donation questions online from the comfort and privacy of their home or office; reducing the time they spend at the blood drive by up to 15 minutes. Visit redcrossblood.org/RapidPass, read the information, answer the questions, and print the pass or email it to themselves to show when they check in at the blood drive. RapidPass must be completed the same day as the donation. Donors are still encouraged to schedule an appointment online.

“We are encouraging everyone to give. The entire process will only take about an hour. It is amazing that with just a short time out of your day, you can help save a life,” said Joan Hanff, OMC Lab Services Director.

Consider making a difference by donating blood at the next blood drive. Every 2 seconds, someone in the U.S. needs blood. About 44,000 pints of blood are needed in the U.S. every day. Almost everyone will know someone in their lifetime who has the need for blood. Only 38% of the population is eligible to donate, but only about 8% of those who are eligible actually donate.

For more information, visit redcrossblood.org, or call the OMC Public Relations Department at 417-257-6735.

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