Opportunities to donate are upcoming in Fairland and Quapaw.

OTTAWA COUNTY – Winter storms and the flu don’t just mean a lot of people are missing work and school – it also means they can’t keep their American Red Cross blood and platelet donation appointments. The Red Cross is urging healthy donors of all blood types to roll up a sleeve to help maintain the blood supply for patients in need.

So far in 2018, severe winter weather forced about 600 blood drives to cancel, resulting in more than 17,500 uncollected blood and platelet donations. And, widespread flu across the U.S. has resulted in lower turnout at blood drives.

Blood and platelet donations are needed in the coming days to help replenish the blood supply and ensure patients continue to receive lifesaving treatments. Donors can help even more patients when they invite a loved one, friend or co-worker to give with them.

Upcoming blood donation opportunities

Fairland - 2/16/2018: 9 a.m. - 3 p.m., Fairland High School, 202 West Washington Quapaw - 2/23/2018: 9 a.m. - 3 p.m., Quapaw High School, 305 West 1st Street

How to donate blood

Simply download the American Red Cross Blood Donor App, visit redcrossblood.org or call 1-800-RED CROSS (1-800-733-2767) to make an appointment or for more information. All blood types are needed to ensure a reliable supply for patients.

A blood donor card or driver’s license or two other forms of identification are required at check-in. Individuals who are 17 years of age in most states (16 with parental consent where allowed by state law), weigh at least 110 pounds and are in generally good health may be eligible to donate blood. High school students and other donors 18 years of age and younger also have to meet certain height and weight requirements.

Blood and platelet donors can save time at their next donation by using RapidPass® to complete their pre-donation reading and health history questionnaire online, on the day of their donation, before arriving at the blood drive. To get started, follow the instructions at redcrossblood.org/RapidPass or use the Blood Donor App.