This Wednesday the American Red Cross and local Chase Wilshire branch will cohost a blood drive to battle blood deficiency caused by winter and flu seasons as well as recent natural disasters.

“Severe winter weather has had a tremendous impact on blood donations already this year,” Sean Inoue, Red Cross account manager, said in an emailed statement. Inoue calls the need for donations “urgent,” stating more than 200 blood drives were forced to cancel due to the season and natural disasters. This has caused “6,500 blood and platelet donations to go uncollected in just the first four days [of the season].”

Stepping in to help secure more blood donations for the season is a local Chase branch, namely Brian Custer. Custer, who is a commerical loan officer at the bank, felt dismayed by recent natural disasters and wanted to do more.

“After the hurricanes last fall – this was before the mudslides, by the way – I saw the country, our community struggling,” Custer said in a phone call. “I wondered what Chase could do. I talked to a manager and here we are.”

In addition to the high number of cancelled blood drives and uncollected blood donations, hectic holiday schedules factor into more than 28,000 fewer donations than what the American Red Cross typically needs during the winter season.

Due to the small amount of donors, donations are being distributed to hospitals as fast as they are coming in, which could affect patient care.

“Donations are urgently needed in the coming days to meet the needs of everyday patients and to be prepared for emergencies that would require significant volumes of donated blood,” Inoue says.

So far, the Chase and Red Cross cohosted blood drive has only around 6 people booked to donate.

Blood and platelet donors of all types are needed but platelet type AB plasma, type O negative, and type B negative blood donations are critically needed. All eligible donors are urged to make an appointment to donate as soon as possible. Eligible donors with types O, B negative and A negative blood are encouraged to make a Power Red donation (a donation which allows you to make two donations in one sitting) where available.

The co-hosted blood drive is located at 2701 Wilshire Boulevard in the American Red Cross Bloodmobile. The event takes place Wednesday, January 24th, 10 a.m. – 4 p.m.

To make an appointment, visit redcrossblood.org and enter sponsor code ChaseSM or email Sean Inoue at SeanInoue@redcross.org.

angel@smdp.com

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