ST PAUL, Minn. — Editor's note: The video above first aired on KARE 11 in March 2022.
St. Paul-based Memorial Blood Centers is calling for Minnesotans to give blood amid an ongoing donor shortage.
On Monday, March 6, MBC issued a "blood emergency," citing winter storms, cold and flu season, fewer first-time donors and fewer donors post-pandemic as reasons for the current shortage, MBC said.
According to the agency, a blood emergency is issued when MBC has one day or less of inventory for certain blood products "and have asked our hospital customers to reduce the amount of blood they keep on hand." A stable supply of blood is enough for five to seven days.
"Each winter we struggle to maintain blood donations, and this year is no exception,” said Wendy Capetz, senior executive director of enterprise marketing for Memorial Blood Centers. “But now the need is deeply critical and may begin to affect our local hospitals. We need more Minnesotans to give blood, host blood drives, and spread the word about the need for donations.”
MBC is also looking for platelet donors to help people undergoing chemotherapy treatments, those with bleeding disorders, new moms and more.
On Thursday, March 23, Health Fair 11 is hosting its Spring Blood Drive with Memorial Blood Centers from 1-7 p.m. at the Minneapolis Marriot West Hotel.
Donors will be treated to Eileen’s Colossal Cookies and vintage Memorial Blood Centers t-shirts. All presenting donors will also have a chance to win a pair of tickets to see Hamilton on April 9.
To reserve a donation time, click here. Walk-in donors will be accepted as space allows.
Not sure if you can donate blood? According to MBC, you can give blood every 56 days and platelet donors can give twice per month. Donors must also be:
- In good health
- 17 years or older—16 with written parental consent
- At least 110 pounds (female donors 16-18 have additional height and weight requirements)
- Free of antibiotics for 24 hours, unless taken for preventative reasons
- Symptom-free for at least 72 hours following a cold or flu
Restrictions to donating blood include:
- If you've experienced symptoms of COVID-19 or had a positive diagnostic test in the last 14 days, or are on self-quarantine restrictions
- Have medical-related restrictions that include: uncontrolled hypertension; recent history of cancer, leukemia, or lymphoma; as well as risk of exposure to hepatitis, HIV, or AIDS; etc.
- Certain international travel may temporarily or permanently defer you from donating if you have traveled or lived in a malaria-endemic area
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