Editorial: Save lives by donating blood

As influenza escalates across the country and winter weather threatens to cancel some blood drives, the American Red Cross is facing a blood shortage.

The organization this week sent out a call for donors of all blood types and particularly type O blood.

The organization states it must collect nearly 13,000 blood donations and more than 2,600 platelet donations daily for patients who rely on blood to survive.

There is less than a three-day supply of type O blood available for patient emergencies and medical treatments. Type O positive blood is the most transfused blood type and can be given to Rh-positive patients of any blood type.

The organization states while just 7% of the U.S. population has type O negative blood, it can be transfused to patients with any blood type and is what hospital staff reach for during emergencies.

We encourage you to take advantage of opportunities that arise to donate blood if you are healthy and able. The Red Cross has stated one donation can potentially save up to three lives.

The following are the blood drives scheduled in Freeborn County over the next month:

• 3 to 7 p.m. Friday at St. Theodore Catholic Church in Albert Lea

• 1 to 6 p.m. Feb. 3 at Geneva Community Center in Geneva

• Noon to 6 p.m. Feb. 6 at Bridge Community Church in Albert Lea

• 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Feb. 11 at Agilis in Albert Lea

• 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Feb. 14 at Mayo Clinic Health System in Albert Lea

According to the Red Cross, someone in the U.S. needs blood every two seconds.

Be a part of the solution.