On Tuesday, the American Red Cross launches the Missing Types campaign to raise awareness for lifesaving blood donations and urge the public to make an appointment to give blood this summer.
Upcoming blood drives in the local area include one today in St. Marys.
During the Missing Types campaign, the letters A, B and O — the letters representing the main blood groups — are disappearing from brands, social media pages, signs and websites to illustrate the critical role blood donors play in helping patients. When the letters A, B and O vanish from everyday life, the gaps are striking. And when A, B, O and AB blood types go missing from hospital shelves, patient care and medical treatments are affected.
Donors can help fill the missing types by making an appointment to give by visiting RedCrossBlood.org/MissingTypes, using the Red Cross Blood Donor App or calling 1-800-RED CROSS (1-800-733-2767).
Upcoming blood donation opportunities June 11-30:
• Emporium, 11:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m., June 13, Vets Club, 427 E. 3rd St.
• Johnsonburg, 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. June 14, Johnsonburg Senior Center, 430 Center St.
• Ridgway, noon to 5 p.m. June 21, Ridgway Central Hose Co., 30 N. Broad St.
• St. Marys, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. today, Moose Club Lodge, 30 Erie Ave.
• Bradford, 1 to 6 p.m. June 18, First Presbyterian Church, 54 E. Corydon St.
• Port Allegany, noon to 5 p.m. June 13, Port Allegany Alliance Church, 414 E. Mill St.
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.
More donors, and new donors in particular, are needed to maintain a sufficient blood supply. Donating blood is a simple process and only takes about an hour from start to finish. Participants sign in, show ID, read required information, answer questions and receive a mini-physical. Giving a pint of blood only takes about eight to 10 minutes. Donors enjoy snacks and relax before resuming their day.