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Winter weather draining blood supply nationwide

Published: Friday, Jan. 31, 2014 1:15 a.m. CDT • Updated: Friday, Jan. 31, 2014 3:48 p.m. CDT

Another casualty of the winter weather: the emergency blood supply.

Nationwide, about 600 blood drives – which would have resulted in about 20,000 blood and platelet donations – have been canceled this month.

Platelet donors, as well as blood donors with the most in-demand blood types – O positive and negative, A negative and B negative – are urgently needed to give blood in the days and weeks ahead to offset the shortfall, the Red Cross said in a news release.

Platelets, a key clotting component of blood often needed by cancer patients, must be transfused within 5 days of donation, so donations are constantly needed. Red blood cells, the oxygen-carrying component of blood, are the most widely transfused blood product and must be transfused within 42 days, the release said.

Amber Wood, executive director of the Lincoln Land chapter in Rock Falls, said Thursday that area donations have been consistent, and she hopes donors – old and new – keep up the effort.

People who are 17 or older, or 16 with parental consent, weigh at least 110 pounds, and are in good health, should be eligible to donate blood. Go to www.redcrossblood.org or call 800-733-2767 for more information or other blood drive locations. Appointments are appreciated but not necessary.

Following are some of the area’s upcoming blood drives:

In Whiteside County

Friday: 9:45 a.m.-4 p.m. Friday, CGH Medical Center, 100 E. LeFevre Road, Sterling.

Feb. 5: 2-6 p.m., Red Cross, 112 W. Second St., Rock Falls, and 9 a.m.-2 p.m. at Fulton High School, 1207 12th St.

Feb. 10: 11:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m., Prophetstown-Lyndon-Tampico school district office, 79 Grove St., Prophetstown.

Feb. 11: 1-6 p.m., Fulton community center, 912 Fourth St.

Feb. 12: 9 a.m.-2 p.m., Sterling High School, 1608 Fourth Ave. and 10 a.m.-2 p.m., Red Cross, 112 W. Second St., Rock Falls.

In Lee County

Feb. 18: 9 a.m.-5:30 p.m., KSB Hospital, 403 E. First St., Dixon.

Feb. 24: 9 a.m.-3 p.m., Sauk Valley Community College, 173 state Route 2, Dixon.

Feb. 27: noon-4 p.m., St. Anne Elementary School, 1112 N. Brinton Ave., Dixon.

Red Cross offers a World Tour of Taste

The Lincoln Land Branch of the American Red Cross is hosting a World Tour of Taste – its only fundraising event this year – Feb. 28 at Rock River Supper Club in Rock Falls.

Those attending will sample wines, beers and food from of faraway lands and nearby favorites, provided by a variety of area restaurants and caterers, with a "World Tour of Taste Passport" stamped at each food and beverage station for a chance to win a prize.

There also will be live, silent and dessert auctions. Items include a spring weekend at Osage Beach, Mo., autographed White Sox items, golf and dinner packages from Rock River Supper Club, and baskets from area businesses.

Sterling indie band Phoenix Rising will perform.

The fundraiser will be held from 6 to 9 p.m. at the club, 3901 Dixon Road in Rock Falls.

Tickets are $30 or two for $50. Reserved tables of four or eight also are $120 and $240. Sponsorships are available.

Go to www.redcross.org/news/event/il/moline/A-World-Tour-of-Taste or call 815-625-0382 for more information.

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