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Memorial Blood Centers announces upcoming blood drives

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NORTHEASTERN MINNESOTA — Amid the ongoing challenges of recruiting blood donors during the COVID-19 pandemic, local nonprofit Memorial Blood Centers (MBC) is facing a shortage of blood and platelet donations.

The need for blood is constant, but due to the pandemic, many drives have been canceled or postponed. To replenish supplies for the Northland’s hospitals, trauma centers, and air ambulance bases, more healthy donors are needed at blood drives and donor centers in the coming weeks. Appointments can be made online at www.mbc.org or by calling 1-888-GIVE-BLD (888-448- 3253).

Before COVID-19, donors could stop by community blood drives at convenient locations like high schools, colleges, offices, and places of worship. It has been nearly one year since these groups had to cancel their blood drives due to COVID 19, and fewer than 50 percent have been able to resume these life-saving events. Despite this tremendous decrease in blood drives and blood donations, patients in community hospitals continue to need transfusions.

A small number of community blood drives have resumed with enhanced precautions, and MBC is strongly encouraging donors to make appointments to visit a blood drive or donor center.

“It’s been a year since we began implementing significant safety protocols at our donor centers. We have extended those safety measures at the community blood drives that have been able to restart,” said Kathy Geist, senior executive director of Memorial Blood Centers.

Blood donation is safe and essential, and MBC has a COVID-19 self-screening policy in addition to general eligibility guidelines. In general, you may be eligible to donate if you are:

• In good health
• 17 years or older— or 16
with written parental consent (PDF available on MBC.
ORG)
• At least 110 pounds
• Free of antibiotics for 24
hours, unless taken for preventative reasons
• Symptom-free for at least

72 hours following a cold or
flu
Visit www.mbc.org to
find your nearest drive or
donor center, or to make an
appointment at one of the
public blood drives below:
• Monday, April 5 from
11:30 a.m. – 5:30 p.m. at the
Aurora Community Center,
15 W. 1st St. N, (hosted by
White Community Hospital
Foundation)
• Tuesday, April 6 from 10
a.m. – 1 p.m. at Fortune Bay
Resort Casino, 1430 Bois
Forte Rd., Tower
• Thursday, April 8 from 9
a.m. – 5 p.m at United Way
of 1000 Lakes, 201 NW 4th
St., Grand Rapids
• Monday, April 12 from
11:30 a.m. – 4:30 p.m. at
the IRA Civic Center, 1401
NW 3rd Ave., Grand Rapids
(hosted by the Grand Rapids
Amateur Hockey Association)

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