OHIO — Increased flu activity across the United States is posing another problem that could put a lot of people at risk.
What You Need To Know
- A decrease in donations occurs because some people are afraid they’ll catch something or they are sick themselves
- Type O and platelets are needed most because they are used for cancer and sickle cell treatments
- Gift cards and movie passes are being given away to those who donate
Donald Hawkins, Regional Communications Manager with the American Red Cross of Central & Southern Ohio Region, said that each year they run into the problem of getting enough people to donate due to flu, COVID and anything else that spreads and makes people ill.
“It’s hard to get folks in the door because they’re either afraid of maybe catching something or they’re sick themselves,” Hawkins said.
Still, donations are needed, especially Type O blood and platelets. Watkins said those are what they’re focusing on most
“Primarily because those are used for cancer and sickle cell treatments,” said Hawkins. “And those treatments do not stop during the holidays.”
Although Hawkins said the American Red Cross is not in a crisis at this point, the organization is working ahead to avoid one.
“If we dropped below a certain threshold, around 500 donors a day in the area for our region, that means that we might not be able to guarantee that we can give every advantage to hospitals that they need. Which means treatments for cancer patients, treatments for sickle cell patients, treatments for people that have an accident or if you are in a car accident and you need a transfusion,” said Hawkins.
Essentially, it’s about making sure they don’t end up in a place where they can’t provide what’s needed.
To help bring more people in, the American Red Cross is giving out Amazon gift cards, Cinemark passes and a chance to win a stay at a Central Ohio Hilton. The program runs through Dec. 15.