Traffic light repair in progress on Martin Luther King Jr. Drive

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LUMBERTON – The American Red Cross has appealed for people to come forward and donate at a time when donations have historically slowed down and concerns are starting to rise over the nation’s blood supply.

Holiday gatherings, school vacations and winter conditions often lead to a drop in donor participation, potentially worsening the blood supply situation, according to the Red Cross.

Patients at UNC Health Southeastern need not worry, according to a spokesperson for the health system.

“We currently do not have any critical blood supply issues,” the spokesperson said.

He did not have information about the blood supply specific to Robeson County, but the Red Cross sees an annual seasonal slowdown, said Phil Harris, executive director of the Sandhills chapter of the American Red Cross, which serves Bladen, Cumberland, Harnett, Hoke, Lee, Moore, Richmond, Robeson, Sampson and Scotland counties.

“It’s a national thing,” he said. “And it goes down to the Sandhills and Lumberton.”

The Red Cross still sees a drop in blood donations during the holidays, when people are busy getting ready to celebrate and canceling scheduled donations, according to Harris. Businesses and schools that could support blood drives are closed. Some people cancel donations because of the cold. And this year, like the year before, some people who could donate are not doing so due to COVID-19 fears.

“We encourage people to stick to their appointments,” said Harris.

It is not the Red Cross who need blood, it is patients, people who have had accidents and need treatment for their injuries, or people who are undergoing medical procedures that require blood transfusion. or plasma, according to Harris.

And people who fear being infected with COVID-19 can rest assured that the Red Cross is using best practices to ensure that donors are also safe from infection, he said.

“The Red Cross has always been committed to sanitation,” said Harris.

According to information from the Red Cross, every blood drive and donation center meets the highest standards of safety and infection control, and extra precautions – including face masks for donors and staff, regardless of who. or vaccination status – have been implemented to help protect the health of everyone present.

The Red Cross is also encouraging businesses, schools, churches and other organizations with large halls and halls to donate these spaces for use as blood collection locations to help maintain an adequate blood supply during the holidays. and the winter months. According to Harris, if the site is made available, the Red Cross will send a team to operate the blood drive.

Harris praised Robeson County.

“Robeson County has been a good blood supplier,” he said.

Potential donors are asked to make an appointment using the Red Cross Blood Donor App, visiting RedCrossBlood.org or calling 1-800-733-2767.

“If there is no immediate opportunity to donate, donors are encouraged to make an appointment in the days and weeks to come to ensure that the Red Cross can replenish itself and then maintain a sufficient blood supply ”, part of a statement from the Red Cross reads.

Those who donate until Jan. 2 will receive a Red Cross long-sleeved T-shirt, while supplies last, according to the Red Cross.

“Those who donate blood, platelets or plasma in January will automatically be entered for a chance to win a Super Bowl LVI getaway in Los Angeles. As an added thank you from the Red Cross, those who donate in January will also be automatically entered to win a home theater package and a $ 500 electronic gift card. Conditions apply; visit RedCrossBlood.org/SuperBowl for more information, ”the Red Cross statement read in part.

To donate blood, donors must bring a blood donor card or driver’s license or two other pieces of identification, which are required at check-in. People aged 17 in most states – 16 with parental consent when state law allows – weigh at least 110 pounds and are generally in good health may be eligible to donate blood. High school students and other donors aged 18 and under must also meet certain height and weight requirements.


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