First Christian Church located at 415 Audubon Dr. in Paducah is hosting an American Red Cross Blood Drive today, December 6, from 11:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. According to Red Cross officials, the life-saving organization is heading into the holiday season with the lowest blood supply in more than 10 years. It’s estimated that since the pandemic, donations are down 34% due to fewer blood drives at schools and colleges.
More than any time of year, there’s a critical need for blood donations due to a drop in donor gifts attributed to holiday travel and fewer blood drives. The need for blood products like plasma, platelets, and red blood cell donations is in high demand because of accidents, burn victims' needs, heart surgeries, organ transplants, and those receiving treatments for cancer and sickle cell disease.
Only 37% of the U.S. population is eligible to give blood and less than 10% or 6.8 million people actually donate annually. According to the redcrossblood.org, Type O positive blood is given to patients more than any other blood type, which is why it's considered the most needed blood type. 38% of the population has O positive blood, making it the most common blood type.
There are certain criteria that blood donors must meet. A person doesn’t need to know their blood type to donate blood; that will be determined during the testing process. Once a person gives blood, the screening process begins. The Red Cross conducts extensive testing on blood donations to study additional components to best match the donation to a patient’s needs.
The Paducah Red Cross Blood and Platelet Center located at Falconcrest Drive specializes in platelet donations that help cancer patients. Whole blood is also collected at the Paducah location. Typical blood drives in the surrounding area collect whole blood donations.
Donors are encouraged to go online to register for blood donation. Appointments can also be made using their app. By entering the zip code either online or by using the app, available times will appear and the location for donation. https://www.redcrossblood.org/give.html/donation-time
The Paducah Red Cross is open everyday except Wednesdays. It accepts donors from 11:45 a.m. to 6:45 p.m. Monday and Thursdays, 8:45 a.m. to 3:15 p.m. on Tuesdays and Fridays, 7:45 a.m. to 2:45 p.m. on Saturdays, and 7:45 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. on Sundays.
Lone Oak Church of Christ located on Lone Oak Rd. will host a blood drive on December 15.