Red Cross blood drive at VFW Dec. 8

The holidays are a crucial time for the American Red Cross to conduct blood drives with one scheduled Thursday, Dec. 8, 2-7 p.m. at VFW Post 2005, 321 West Shore Drive.

Red Cross spokesman Jeff Hall said that as more people make travel plans to celebrate with family and friends this year, the Red Cross needs donors to set aside a time to give blood or platelets for patients waiting for care over the holidays.

Throughout the season, Hall said several factors can disrupt the ability of the Red Cross to collect enough blood for patients across the country.

According to a recent study, nearly half of Americans plan to travel over the holidays this year, which may negatively impact the blood supply if fewer people come out to donate.

The United States is seeing a rise in respiratory illnesses like the flu and RSV, which can decrease the availability of healthy donors.

Parts of the country have already seen storms bring several feet of snow this year. Winter weather often leads to hazardous road conditions, canceling blood drives and making it dangerous for donors to venture out to give.

Hall said it is important for donors − especially type O blood donors and platelet donors − to give now to ensure hospitals have the blood they need through the end of the year. 

Schedule an appointment by using the Red Cross Blood Donor App, visiting RedCrossBlood.org or calling 1-800-RED CROSS (1-800-733-2767).