Blood donation critical as shortage continues – Albert Lea Tribune


The American Red Cross is facing its worst blood shortage in more than a decade, and blood and platelet donations are vital to help prevent delays in life-saving medical treatment.

According to the organization, the blood shortage crisis was caused by a series of factors:

• Overall drop in blood donations of 10% since March 2020.

• 62% drop in college and high school blood drives due to the pandemic. Student donors made up about 25% of donors in 2019 and only made up about 10% during the pandemic.

• Cancellations of ongoing blood drives due to illness, weather-related closures and staff limitations.

Additional factors like a surge of COVID-19 cases and an active flu season can make the already dire situation worse.

The organization says less than a day’s supply of critical blood groups has been available in recent weeks.

Although all blood groups are urgently needed, here are the blood groups most needed today:

• Type O positive

• Type O negative

• Platelets

Here are the upcoming blood drives in Albert Lea and its surroundings:

• January 19: 9:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m., Albert Lea Senior Center, 1719 W. Main St.

• January 21: noon to 6 p.m., United Methodist Church, 702 US Highway 69 S.

• January 27: noon to 6 p.m., Northbridge Mall, 2510 Bridge Ave.

• January 28: 12 p.m. to 6 p.m., Albert Lea Fire Department, 417 S. Newton Ave.

• February 3: noon to 6 p.m., Bridge Community Church, 2016, Bridge Ave.

• February 4: noon to 6 p.m., First Lutheran Church, 301 W. Clark St.

• February 9: noon to 6 p.m., Hollandale Christian Reform Church, 102 E. Amsterdam Ave.

• February 11: 9 a.m. to 3 p.m., Mayo Clinic Health System, 404 Fountain St.

• February 15: 9 a.m. to 3 p.m., Riverland Community College, 2200 Riverland Drive

Conditions for making a donation

Here are some of the requirements that donors must meet to be eligible to donate blood:

Whole blood donation

• Can donate every 56 days, up to six times a year

• Must be in good health and feel well

• Must be at least 16 years old in most states

• Must weigh at least 110 pound sterling

Platelet donation

• Can donate every seven days, up to 24 times a year

• Must be in good health and feel well

• Must be at least 17 years old in most states

• Must weigh at least 110 pounds

Elite AB plasma donation

• Can donate every 28 days, up to 13 times a year

• Must have type AB blood

• Must be in good health and feel well

• Must be at least 17 years old

• Must weigh at least 110 pounds

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