Diverse Donor Base Critical For Adequate Supply

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WICHITA, Kan. (WIBW) -- February is Black History Month, and in the spirit of Dr. Charles Drew, the first medical director of an American Red Cross blood bank, the Red Cross reminds eligible donors of the importance of a diverse blood supply.

Patients are less likely to have complications from blood donated by someone with the same ethnicity. Prior to transfusion, blood type and Rh factor are matched. Often, additional red cell markers in donated blood must be matched as well. Such markers are determined by ethnicity and best found in a diverse donor base.

Donors of all types are encouraged to roll up a sleeve and help save lives. Appointments to give blood can be made by calling 1-800-RED CROSS or visiting redcrossblood.org.

Upcoming blood donation dates:

Dickinson County
Feb. 10 from 2:30 to 6:30 p.m. at St. Michael Catholic Church, 210 E. Sixth in Chapman

Franklin County
Feb. 12 from 12 to 6 p.m. at Celebration Hall, 1737 S. Elm in Ottawa

Lyon County
Feb. 3 from 12 to 6 p.m. at Emporia Presbyterian Church West Campus, 1702 W. 15th in Emporia
Feb. 4 from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. at Emporia Presbyterian Church West Campus
Feb. 7 from 8 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. at Flint Hills Technical College, 3301 W. 18th Ave. in Emporia

Pottawatomie County
Feb. 11 from 12 to 6 p.m. at St. Bernard's Catholic Church, 1006 W. Eighth in Wamego
Feb. 12 from 10:30 a.m. to 6 p.m. at Central Elementary School, Seventh and Poplar in Wamego
Feb. 13 from 10:30 a.m. to 6 p.m. at West Elementary School, 1911 Sixth St. in Wamego

Shawnee County
Feb. 5 from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. at Washburn University Law School, 1700 College Ave. in Topeka

How to donate blood
A blood donor card, driver's license, or two other forms of identification are required at check-in. Individuals who are 17 years of age (16 with parental consent in some states), weigh at least 110 pounds and are in generally good health may be eligible to donate blood. High school students and other donors 18 years of age and younger also have to meet certain height and weight requirements.