Red Cross urgently needing blood platelet donations

Published 10:40 am Friday, August 5, 2016

As the American Red Cross continues trying to address a critical blood shortage across the country, a memorial blood drive is returning to Austin.

Several numerous blood drives planned across Mower County this summer, including the Lauren Schwab Memorial Blood Drive set for 1 to 7 p.m. on Aug. 11 at St. Olaf’s Lutheran Church, 306 Second St. NW.

Schwab was known for her kindness and compassion and was putting that into action as an aspiring nursing student at Winona State University when her life ended suddenly from complications of a pulmonary embolism in 2013.

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The community is invited to remember her giving spirit by donating blood.

“Lauren would be so honored to know that people were rolling up a sleeve in her memory,” said Beth Schwab, Lauren’s mother, in a press release. “The Red Cross organization was very important to Lauren because it was her nature to help people.”

The Red Cross urges eligible donors to give now to help ensure blood is available throughout the rest of the summer to meet patient needs.

At times, blood and platelets are being distributed to hospitals faster than donations are coming in, which impacts the ability to rebuild the blood supply. Right now, the Red Cross has less than a five-day blood supply on hand. The Red Cross strives to have a five-day supply at all times to meet the needs of patients every day and be prepared for emergencies that may require significant volumes of donated blood products.

“The Red Cross continues to have an emergency need for blood and platelet donors to give now and help save patient lives,” said Sue Thesenga, Communications Manager of the North Central Blood Services Region, in a press release. “We are grateful for those who have already stepped up this summer to give and want to remind those who are eligible that hospital patients are still counting on them to roll up a sleeve.”

Donors of all blood types are urgently needed to help restock the shelves. The Red Cross is thanking those who come in to donate blood or platelets between July 25 and Aug. 31 by emailing them a $5 gift card claim code.

To schedule an appointment to donate, use the free Blood Donor App, visit or call 1-800-RED CROSS (1-800- 733-2767). Donation appointments and completion of a RapidPass online health history questionnaire are encouraged to help reduce wait times.

Upcoming blood drives in Mower County


Aug. 8, 1-7 p.m.: National Guard Armory, 800 21st St. NE

Aug. 9, 12-6 p.m.: National Guard Armory, 800 21st St. NE

Aug. 10, 12-6 p.m.: National Guard Armory, 800 21st St. NE

Aug. 11, 1-7 p.m.: St. Olaf’s Lutheran Church, 306 Second St. NW


Aug. 16, 1-7 p.m.: Our Savior Lutheran Church, 411 W. Main St., Brownsdale