Blood levels at the American Red Cross are the lowest they have been in 10 years.
That’s according to Amanda Wehnes, account manager for American Red Cross blood services in North Platte.
“This is serious,” Wehnes said. “Hospital demand continues to outpace donations. The Red Cross is facing an emergency blood shortage and needs help to ensure needs are being met to prevent delays in patient care. Type O is especially in demand.”
North Platte Community College will do its part to help alleviate the crisis by hosting a blood drive Nov. 16 at the NPCC South Campus, 601 W. State Farm Rd. All presenting donors will receive a $10 Amazon.com gift card via email.
The Red Cross will be set up from 9:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. in the concessions area of the McDonald-Belton Building.
Wendy Schramm, systems analyst for the college, is among those who plan to be there. She recently reached the 10-gallon milestone for blood donations.
“I feel like giving blood is the least I can do to help mankind,” Schramm said. “I don’t have a lot of extra time to volunteer or give my time or talents otherwise. I can endure a small needle poke knowing that so many people are out there suffering and that my donation could have a tremendous impact on their lives.”
Schramm has been giving blood since the late 90s. She was influenced by her mother-in-law who was a medical laboratory technician.
“She drew blood for donations for years and really treasured her regulars,” Schramm said. “She taught our family the value of being a donor, and the fact that NPCC offers a collection site on campus makes the opportunity too convenient to pass up. I appreciate that the college finds value in donating blood and encourages its employees and students to give back in that way.”
The NPCC blood drive is open to the public. Appointments can be made at redcrossblood.org, through the Red Cross Blood Donor app, by calling 1-800-RED CROSS (1-800-733-2767) or with the blood donor skill on any Alexa-enabled device.
Completion of a RapidPass® online health history questionnaire is encouraged to help speed up the donation process. Instructions can be found at redcrossblood.org/RapidPass and on the blood donor app.
A blood donor card, driver’s license or two other forms of identification are required at check-in. Individuals who are 16 years of age (with parental consent), weigh at least 110 pounds and are in generally good health may be eligible to donate blood.
High school students and other donors 18 years of age and younger must meet certain height and weight requirements.