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Blood drives scheduled in Middlesex, Nashville, Rocky Mount

Posted on October 12, 2021

Local news
An American Red Cross donor squeezes a sponge ball while giving blood in Fairfax, Virginia, in April 2018. The Red Cross says donors save thousands of lives each year with donations of blood, plasma and platelets.

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An American Red Cross donor squeezes a sponge ball while giving blood in Fairfax, Virginia, in April 2018. The Red Cross says donors save thousands of lives each year with donations of blood, plasma and platelets.

The American Red Cross continues to experience an emergency blood and platelet shortage that has reduced its blood supply to the lowest post-summer level in at least six years.

With less than a day’s supply of certain blood types in recent weeks, the Red Cross asks donors of all blood types — especially type O — to make an appointment to give blood or platelets as soon as possible to ensure patients can receive lifesaving transfusions.

Appointments can be made by using the Red Cross Blood Donor app, visiting RedCrossBlood.org or calling 1-800-RED CROSS (1-800-733-2767). 

Fall is typically a time when the blood supply rebounds from summer blood shortages, but a surge in COVID-19 cases across the U.S. due to the delta variant has contributed to the lowest donor turnout of the year. To shore up inventory, the Red Cross must collect 10,000 additional blood products each week this month to meet hospital and patient needs.

October blood donors will receive an email offer for a free Zaxby’s sandwich or a $5 online gift card. Everyone who donates after Oct. 11 will receive a bonus $5 e-gift card.

During Breast Cancer Awareness Month in October, the Red Cross is reminding donors of the importance of blood to those undergoing treatment. According to the National Cancer Institute, roughly 1.9 million people are expected to be diagnosed with cancer in the U.S. this year, and more than 281,000 of those individuals will have breast cancer.

Patients with breast cancer and other cancers may need blood products on a regular basis during chemotherapy, surgery or treatment for complications. In fact, nearly 25% of the blood supply is used by cancer patients. 

Donors can save up to 15 minutes at the blood drive by completing a RapidPass. The pass allows donors to complete their pre-donation reading and health history questionnaire online, on the day of donation, from a mobile device or computer.

To complete a RapidPass, follow the instructions at RedCrossBlood.org/RapidPass or use the Red Cross Blood Donor app.

To donate blood, individuals need to bring a blood donor card or driver’s license or two other forms of identification that are required at check-in. Individuals who are 17 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 and younger also must meet certain height and weight requirements.

Due to COVID-19 precautions, donors are asked to schedule appointments before visiting a blood drive. The Red Cross said its donation sites follow “the highest standards of safety and infection control.” All donors, Red Cross employees and volunteers are asked to wear face masks regardless of their vaccination status.

Blood drives are scheduled at the following locations:

MIDDLESEX

• Oct. 19 — 2-7 p.m., Stony Hill Free Will Baptist Church, 9649 Stony Hill Church Road.

NASHVILLE

• Oct. 16 — 10 a.m. to 2:30 p.m., Nashville Town Hall council chambers, 114 W. Church St.

• Oct. 25 — 2-7 p.m., Sandy Cross United Methodist Church, 3725 Sandy Cross Road.

ROCKY MOUNT

• Oct. 18 — 3-7 p.m., Bethlehem Baptist Church, 305 S. Halifax Road.

• Oct. 19 — 2:30-6:30 p.m., Englewood Baptist Church, 1350 Winstead Ave.

• Oct. 21 — Noon to 6 p.m., Englewood Presbyterian Church, 100 S. Englewood Drive.

• Oct. 22 — 11 a.m. to 4 p.m., Englewood Presbyterian Church, 100 S. Englewood Drive.

• Oct. 25 — 3-7 p.m., Christ Covenant Church, 3124 Belmont Lake Drive.

• Oct. 26 — 2-6 p.m., Parkwood Baptist Church, 1731 Hunter Hill Road.

• Oct. 28 — 2-6 p.m., Oakdale Baptist Church, 13037 U.S. 64 Alternate W.

• Oct. 31 — 1-5 p.m., Golden East Crossing Mall, 1100 N. Wesleyan Blvd.

WILSON

• Oct. 27 — 2:30-7 p.m., Daniels Chapel Free Will Baptist Church, 4828 Frank Price Church Road.

• Oct. 28 — 11 a.m. to 4 p.m., Greenfield School, 3551 N.C. 42 W.

• Oct. 28 — Noon to 6 p.m., First Baptist Church of Wilson, 311 Nash St. NW.

• Oct. 31 — 2-5 p.m., Wilson Family YMCA, 3436 Airport Blvd. NW.

TARBORO

• Oct. 22 — 12:30-4:30 p.m., Braswell Center Tarboro, 1500 Western Blvd.

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