Health briefs: Red Cross blood shortage continues; Men’s caregiver group meets Aug. 9


Red Cross blood shortage continues

Thousands of people have responded to the emergency call for blood and platelet donations in early-July, though there continues to be an emergency need for donors of all blood types, especially type O, according to the American Red Cross. Red Cross blood donations are being distributed to hospitals faster than they are coming in, and there is less than a five-day blood supply on hand.

The Red Cross strives to keep a five-day supply of blood to meet the needs of patients and to be prepared for emergencies that require significant volumes of donated blood products.

"Patients don't get a summer break from the need for lifesaving treatments, so it is critical that hospitals have access to blood products each and every day," said Sue Thesenga, communications manager of the North Central Blood Services Region. "We sincerely appreciate those who have responded to the call to help save lives, but the emergency need remains. Those who haven't rolled up a sleeve to give are urged to do so today."

There is a particular need for type O blood, which plays an important role in ongoing patient care and emergencies. Type O positive is the most transfused blood type and can be given to patients with any Rh-positive blood type. Type O negative is the universal blood type and can be given to any patient. It's what emergency room personnel reach for when there is no time to determine the blood type of patients in the most serious situations.

Those who come to donate blood or platelets through Aug. 30 will receive a $5 Gift Card via email. Restrictions apply; for more information and details visit

To make an appointment, use the the free American Red Cross Blood Donor App, visit or by call 800-RED CROSS (800-733-2767).

Ellsworth hosts immunization clinics

Pierce County Health Department will hold immunization clinics 2 to 4 p.m. Aug. 9, and 3 to 5 p.m. Aug. 22 at the Pierce County Office Building, 412 W. Kinne St., Ellsworth. The clinic is for children through 18 years of age who are Medicaid eligible, uninsured, American Indian or Alaska Native, or have insurance without vaccine coverage. Some adult vaccinations also are available for a fee.

For more information or to make an appointment, call 715-273-6755.

Men's caregiver group meets Aug. 9

Men Only Group meets at 9 a.m. Thursday, Aug. 9, at Pier 55, 240 Harrison St. The group is for men who have the role of being the long-term care provider for a spouse or other person. All related topics associated with the responsibility are open for discussion.