Blood Donation | St. Louis Public Radio

Blood Donation

Paul Granneman donates platelets Nov. 20 in St. Louis. The American Red Cross has said the need for blood donations is 'urgent.'
File Photo | Sarah Fentem | St. Louis Public Radio

Social distancing and stay-at-home orders have some St. Louisans asking: How can I help those who need support while I am at home? Even many volunteer opportunities have been canceled.

But there’s still a need for help. According to the state Department of Labor, 42,000 people in Missouri filed for unemployment last week.

Paul Granneman donates platelets Nov. 20 in St. Louis. The American Red Cross has said the need for blood donations is 'urgent.'
File Photo | Sarah Fentem | St. Louis Public Radio

Officials from the American Red Cross are urging St. Louis residents to donate blood over the Thanksgiving holiday weekend.

There were 21,000 fewer donations nationally during September and October than hospitals needed, according to the organization. Locally, the Red Cross is down to a three-day blood supply and may need to start rationing blood it distributes to the region’s hospitals.

Sign post for blood drive.
Shizzyo | Flickr

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration announced recently it is re-evaluating its ban against accepting blood donations from gay men. 

The FDA is now seeking ways to assess a potential donor's individual HIV risk as opposed to a general ban on a population. The agency is currently seeking public comment on the policy.  

The FDA must first approve updates to donor history questionnaires and donor education materials before blood centers can start taking donations from gay and bisexual men.
Canadian Blood Services | Flickr

Originally reported Thursday, March 3 and updated Wednesday, June 15 with updated timeline details — Six months after the Food and Drug Administration eliminated a decades-long ban on gay and bisexual men donating blood, the restriction is effectively still in place in St. Louis and across the country.

Dr. Spinella consults with Dr. Ronald Jackups about the blood supply at St. Louis Children's Hospital
Washington University medical school

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon, Sept. 24, 2013: Dr. Philip Spinella served 12 years in the United States military, including a year treating traumatic injuries in the 31st Combat Support Hospital in Baghdad. During his deployment, he was also part of a small group of physicians evaluating transfusion practices in treating hemorrhagic shock resulting from battlefield injuries.

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon, Feb. 4, 2011 - With the stormy weather behind them, area collectors of blood for human transfusions are keeping their fingers crossed that donors will start showing up in large numbers again to replenish low supplies.

"We haven't seen anything like this in 10 years," says Laurie Nehring, communications director for blood services at the local Red Cross, 4050 Lindell Boulevard. She was referring to the number of blood drive cancellations resulting from the snow and ice storm that rolled through the St. Louis region this week.