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IFD to have blood drive today

Type O negative, B negative blood donations needed

There will be a blood drive today to help the American Red Cross replenish its depleted supplies.

To help with that the Ironton Fire Department will host a blood drive from 1-6:30 p.m. at the fire station in downtown Ironton.

“You can just come in through the front door,” said IFD Chief Mike Mahlmeister.

He said they had a blood drive at the end of last year and the American Red Cross said it was quite successful and asked them to hold another. “They are always in need, it’s a commodity that is tough to come by.”

Mahlmeister said that they were happy to do it. Firefighter Joe Marshall helped set the blood drives up.

“It is a way to give back and help the community, that is our thing,” he said. “So, if you have the time, come out and donate. We would appreciate it and I know the American Red Cross does. It is a very worthy cause and it can save a life.”

The American Red Cross is asking for platelet donors of all blood types to give now to address a winter blood donation shortage.

“The severe winter weather has had a tremendous impact on blood donations already this year, with more than 200 blood drives forced to cancel,” said Marita Salkowski, the American Red Cross’ regional communications and marketing director for the greater Cincinnati-Dayton region. “As a result, over 6,500 blood and platelet donations have gone uncollected. In addition, hectic holiday schedules as well as seasonal illnesses collectively contributed to more than 28,000 fewer donations in November and December.”

She said that platelet and type O negative and B negative blood donations are critically needed right now.

In the Ohio River Valley area, the Red Cross collects blood donations in Scioto, Pike, Jackson and Lawrence counties, and according to the American Red Cross, the four counties collect an average of over 4,200 units of blood a year, which can save over 12,000 lives.

The Red Cross provides about 40 percent of the nation’s blood supply, and currently, Red Cross blood products are being distributed to hospitals as fast as donations come in.

They have to collect more than 13,000 donations every day for patients at about 2,600 hospitals and transfusion centers nationwide. Accident and burn victims, heart surgery and organ transplant patients, and patients receiving treatment for leukemia, cancer or sickle cell disease may all require blood to help save their lives.