PORTER COUNTY | As severe winter weather begins to subside, the American Red Cross is asking all eligible blood and platelet donors to help offset a weather-related shortfall in donations.
Approximately 280 blood drives across 25 states were canceled across the U.S. due to snow and extreme cold. The blood drive cancellations resulted in a shortfall of nearly 8,400 blood and platelet donations since Jan. 2. In Northern Indiana, severe winter weather forced cancellation of more than 30 Red Cross blood drives, resulting in significantly fewer than expected blood and platelet donations over the past four days.
“It’s the blood products already on the shelves that help save lives when severe weather hits,” said Sharyn Whitman, CEO of the Red Cross Indiana-Ohio Blood Services Region. “Thanks to generous Red Cross blood and platelet donors, blood products were available for patients who still needed transfusions despite the weather. Now we invite those previously ‘frozen out’ from giving blood or platelets to come in soon.”
Platelet donors, as well as blood donors with the most in-demand blood types — O positive and negative, A negative and B negative — are needed to give blood in the days and weeks ahead to offset the shortfall.
Platelets, a key clotting component of blood often needed by cancer patients, must be transfused within five days of donation, so donations are constantly needed. Red blood cells, the oxygen carrying component of blood, are the most widely transfused blood product and must be transfused within 42 days.
Make an appointment to donate blood at redcrossblood.org or (800) 733-2767.
Upcoming blood donation opportunities:
• 11:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday at St. Peter Lutheran Church in the kitchen and social hall, 6540 Central Ave., Portage.
• 2 to 6 p.m. Monday at Valparaiso Nazarene Church, 2702 Glendale Ave., Valparaiso.
• 2:30 to 6 p.m. Tuesday at Faith Memorial Lutheran Church, 753 N. Calumet, Valparaiso.
• 2 to 6 p.m. Tuesday at Liberty Bible Church in the Fellowship Hall, 824 N. Calumet Ave., Chesterton.
• 4 to 8 p.m. Wednesday at Heritage Lutheran Church in the fellowship hall, 308 Washington St., Valparaiso.
• Noon to 6 p.m. Wednesday at Valparaiso University in Harre Union Ballrooms B & C, 1509 Chapel Drive, Valparaiso. Come to donate at this We Challenge U blood drive and receive a Red Cross T-shirt.
• 1:30 to 6:30 p.m. Friday at the First United Methodist Church of Portage in the Fellowship Hall, 2637 McCool Road, Portage.
• 1 to 7 p.m. Monday at St. Teresa of Avila in the Catholic Student Center, 1604 Lincolnway, Valparaiso.
• 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Jan. 21 at Opportunity Enterprises in the meeting room, 2801 Evans Ave., Valparaiso.
• 1:30 to 6 p.m. Jan. 22 at Kouts High School in the gymnasium foyer, 302 E. College Ave. in Kouts.
• 12:30 to 4:30 p.m. Jan. 22 at Portage Christian School at 3040 Arlene St. in Portage. This is a Pint Size Heroes blood drive.
• 11:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Jan. 24, at the YMCA of Portage, 3100 Willowcreek Road, Portage.
• 2 to 6 p.m. Jan. 24 at Thomas Jefferson Middle School in the cafeteria, 1600 Roosevelt Road, Valparaiso. Come to donate at this Future Blood Donors blood drive and receive an American Red Cross water bottle.
• 11 a.m. until 3 p.m. Jan. 25 at Walmart, 2400 Morthland Drive, Valparaiso.
• 3 to 7 p.m. Jan. 29 at Hebron Elementary School in the cafeteria, 307 S. Main St., Hebron. This is a Pint Size Heroes blood drive.
• 4 to 8 p.m. Jan. 30 at South Haven Elementary School in the gymnasium, 395 Midway Drive, Valparaiso. This is a Pint Size Heroes blood drive.
• 9 a.m. to noon Jan. 30 at Lakeside Wealth Management, 407 W. Indiana Ave., Chesterton.
• 2 to 5 p.m. Jan. 30 at Indiana Furniture and Mattress, 1807 E. Lincolnway, Valparaiso.
• 7:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. Jan. 30 at Wheeler High School in the gymnasium, 587 W. County Road 300 North, Valparaiso.
• 10 a.m. to noon Jan. 31 at Addison Pointe Health and Rehabilitation Center, 780 Dickinson Road, Chesterton.