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Blood and platelet donations needed ahead of hectic holiday weeks

MADISON — As more people make travel plans to celebrate with family and friends this year, the American Red Cross asks donors to set aside a time to give blood or platelets for patients waiting for care over the holidays.

Throughout the season, several factors can disrupt the ability of the Red Cross to collect enough blood for patients across the country.

  • Travel: According to a recent study, nearly half of Americans plan to travel over the holidays this year, which may negatively impact the blood supply if fewer people come out to donate.
  • Seasonal illness: The U.S. is seeing a rise in respiratory illnesses like the flu and RSV, which can decrease the availability of healthy donors.
  • Weather: Parts of the country have already seen storms bring several feet of snow this year. Winter weather often leads to hazardous road conditions, canceling blood drives and making it dangerous for donors to venture out to give.

It’s important for donors − especially type O blood donors and platelet donors − to give now to ensure hospitals have the blood they need through the end of the year. Schedule an appointment by using the Red Cross Blood Donor App, visiting RedCrossBlood.org or calling 1-800-RED CROSS (1-800-733-2767).

As a thank-you, all who come to give blood through Dec. 15 will receive a $10 Amazon.com Gift Card by email, thanks to Amazon.* Those who come to give Dec. 16-Jan. 2 will get a long-sleeved Red Cross T-shirt, while supplies last.

The next blood donation drive in Madison will be held Dec. 17, 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. at St. John’s Catholic Church, 1055 Hughes Rd. For other nearby bloos donation dates, go to redcrossblood.org.

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