2014-03-06 / Front Page

U.P. blood center supply in critical need

Supplies dwindling in light of bad weather, cold season

MARQUETTE – The U.P. Regional Blood Center recently announced the critical need for blood throughout the Upper Peninsula.

Types of blood needed are: A-positive, A-negative, B-negative, and O-negative.

“The target we set for each blood type is dwindling,” said Sallie Coron, coordinator of blood collections for the center. “For example, our target for A-positive blood is to have 115 pints available, and right now we only have 65.”

Coron listed a few reasons why the blood supply has become so low, including: cold and flu season – when people aren’t healthy enough to donate blood; bad weather, which prevents people from donating at a local blood drive or donating at the blood center; and bad weather which causes the blood center to cancel blood drives, especially when schools are closed.

Currently, the supply is as follows:

A-positive: 57 percent of target goal

A-negative: 28 percent of target goal

B-negative: 54 percent of target goal

O-negative: 33 percent of target goal

“In order to continue supplying blood to the people of the Upper Peninsula, we must reach our target goal,” said Coron. “We are urging those who are able to donate to call and make an appointment at one of our service sites.”

To be eligible to donate blood, a person must be at least 16 years old, in good health, weigh at least 110 pounds and have a picture ID. (Those who are 16 years old must have parental consent).

The donation process is quick and simple. A technician performs a brief medical screening to check blood pressure, pulse, temperature and hemoglobin levels. This helps assure safe blood for patients, and also provides a quick check-up for donors. The entire process takes about 45 minutes, while the actual donation will only take about 10 minutes.

All blood donated at the U.P. Regional Blood Center stays in the U.P. One pint of blood can be used to help three different people in the U.P., and helps 13 area hospitals.

To donate blood, visit one of following service sites:

U.P. Regional Blood Center – Escanaba, 710 South Lincoln Suite 200. For more information or to schedule an appointment, call (906) 786-8420.

U.P. Regional Blood Center – Marquette, 427 West College Ave. For more information or to schedule an appointment, call (906) 225-4610.

For Manistique residents, there is an upcoming blood drive in Manistique on March 20. The drive will be held inside the Blanchard Center from 1-5:15 p.m. For an appointment, call Lila Panek at (906) 341- 6447.

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