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Blood and platelet donors critically needed says Nebraska Red Cross

Red Cross Blood Drive Donations Donor
Posted at 1:28 PM, Oct 22, 2021
and last updated 2021-10-22 15:30:59-04

OMAHA, Neb. (KMTV) — According to a release from the Nebraska Red Cross, it is in urgent need of donations as shortages continue due to the pandemic.

It said, “The American Red Cross currently has an emergency blood and platelet shortage as the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic continue to challenge the nation’s blood supply. Donor turnout has reached the lowest levels of the year, with September and October having the lowest national blood inventory levels in more than a decade.”

The Red Cross said demand hasn’t gone down either which is causing some concern for supplies throughout fall and winter.

The Red Cross added, “Donating blood is essential to help save the lives of patients who are depending on the availability of blood this fall. Type O is the most needed blood group by hospitals. Platelets, the clotting portion of blood, is primarily given to cancer patients during treatment and must be transfused within five days of donation.”

Donors of all types of blood — especially type O donors — are urged to donate blood or platelets.

The Red Cross also wants to remind people to check their smoke alarms as November through March tends to be when it responds to more fire calls.

In addition, it suggests teaching children what smoke alarm sounds mean and what to do in an emergency.

Tips to help:

  • Place smoke alarms on each level of your home, including inside and outside bedrooms and sleeping areas. Test alarms monthly and change the batteries at least once a year, if your model requires it.
  • Check the manufacturer’s date of your smoke alarms. If they’re 10 years or older, they likely need to be replaced because components such batteries can become less reliable. Follow your alarm’s manufacturer instructions.
  • Include at least two ways to exit every room in your home in your escape plan.
  • Select a meeting spot at a safe distance away from your home, such as your neighbor’s home or landmark like a specific tree in your front yard, where everyone knows to meet.
  • Tailor your escape plan to everyone’s needs in your household. If you are deaf or hard of hearing, install strobe light and bed-shaker alarms to help alert you to a fire. When practicing your plan, include any devices or people that can help you to get out safely.

The Red cross added, “If you cannot afford to purchase smoke alarms or are physically unable to install one, the Red Cross may be able to help. Contact your local Red Cross for help. Due to COVID-19 safety guidelines, smoke alarm installations are limited to where they’re safe to do so.”

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