The American Red Cross is looking for donors to help with the blood shortage. To register,  log on to the American Red Cross website at  www.redcross.org.

The American Red Cross is looking for donors to help with the blood shortage. To register, log on to the American Red Cross website at www.redcross.org.

Photo provided by the American Red Cross


Blood drives to help with donation shortage

By: Maria Allard | C&G Newspapers | Published November 22, 2021

METRO DETROIT — Wanted: blood donors.

You must be in good health and feeling well, 16 years old or older (in most states) and weigh at least 110 pounds.

According to the American Red Cross, blood supply levels are at their lowest “at this time of year in more than a decade,” and representatives of the nonprofit organization are seeking potential donors.

In addition, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has warned there could be a potential spike in flu cases this year, and when seasonal illness increases, the number of healthy blood donors tends to decrease. COVID-19 is also a deterrent.

“With the delta variant, people are getting sick or people fear getting sick. This is for the whole country, not just Detroit,” said Meghan Lehman, American Red Cross Michigan Region regional communications director. “We don’t see a lot of donors coming out.”

Therefore, Red Cross representatives are encouraging those who are eligible, to donate blood to offset the current shortage. Donating blood takes about an hour, including talking to a health official about your medical history to ensure you are a good candidate. Donors also undergo a mini-physical.

“One unit of blood is about one pint,” Lehman said. “One pint can save up to three lives.”

To help with the shortage, several churches and organizations throughout Macomb, Wayne and Oakland counties are holding blood drives in November and December.

The Troy Community Center, 3179 Livernois Road, is one of many local spots that holds blood drives on a monthly basis.

“I work together with the Red Cross to hold numerous drives every month. We are more than happy to participate with the American Red Cross,” city of Troy Community Affairs Director Cindy Stewart said. “The Red Cross is always in crisis of needing blood. The blood helps burn victims, open-heart patients, leukemia patients and in disaster relief.”

The Troy Community Center has blood drives scheduled on Nov. 29 and Dec. 1, 16, 22 and 27. Stewart said there are some individuals who donate blood on a regular basis. People can donate every 56 days.

“They donate every time they are able to. On behalf of the city of Troy, we are so appreciative of all of our blood donors. Every family knows of someone who needs blood or who has needed blood in their lifetime,” Stewart said. “I encourage people to come to the Troy Community Center. We think it’s very, very important that people give.”

The Red Cross Warren Blood Donation Center, 13260 E. 11 Mile Road, also has a number of dates open for blood donations. There are many other locations in metro Detroit, including Warren, Clinton Township, Sterling Heights, St. Clair Shores, Bloomfield Township and Berkley.

The best way to register to donate blood is to log onto the American Red Cross website at www.redcross.org. From there, click on the “Give Blood” heading to make an appointment. Participants can donate blood or platelets.

According to the Red Cross website, blood transfusions are given to patients in a wide range of circumstances, including serious injuries such as car crashes, surgeries, childbirth, anemia, blood disorders, cancer treatments, and more.

Patients who are unable to make enough platelets, due to illness or chemotherapy, may receive platelet transfusions to stay healthy. Plasma transfusions are used for patients with liver failure, severe infections, and serious burns.

Those who give blood between Nov. 24 and 28 will receive a pair of Red Cross socks, while supplies last.