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Emergency blood shortage persists over holiday season

As many prepare to celebrate Thanksgiving and look ahead at a busy holiday season, the American Red Cross encourages eligible donors across the country to harness their humanity by giving blood or platelets in the coming weeks. 

As a result of low blood donor turnout in recent months, the Red Cross is heading into the holidays with its lowest blood supply in more than a decade at this time of year. The ongoing effects of COVID-19 and a summer spike in delta variant cases significantly challenged the nation’s blood supply heading into the fall. The pandemic also resulted in fewer blood drives at schools and colleges, contributing to a 34% drop in new blood donors from last year − one of the largest year-to-year decreases and one that could threaten essential medical care for patients. Locally, the Kansas & Oklahoma Red Cross Region has experienced a 23.5% decrease in new blood donors this year. 

Make an appointment to give blood or platelets as soon as possible by using the Red Cross Blood Donor App, visiting or calling 800-RED CROSS (800-733-2767).

As a thank-you, all those who come to give Nov. 29 through Dec. 16 will be automatically entered for a chance to win a private screening for the winner and 50 of their guests of the new film “The Matrix Resurrections.” Plus, those who come to give Nov. 29 through Dec. 16 will get a $10 Gift Card by email, thanks to Amazon (terms apply).

Upcoming blood donation opportunities

• Claflin - Dec. 10 - 12:30-6:30 p.m. at the Claflin Community Center, 409 A St.

• Ellinwood - Dec. 6 - 12:30-6:30 p.m. at St. Joseph’s Parish Center, 110 W. 2nd St.; and Dec. 9 - 9 a.m. to 3:15 p.m. at Ellinwood District Hospital, 605 N. Main.

• Great Bend - Dec. 6 - 11:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. at the Prince of Peace Parish Center, 4124 Broadway Ave.; and Dec. 15 - 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. at Advanced Physical Therapy & Sports Medicine, 4801 10th St.