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Red Cross calling for blood donations

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You may have seen signs in downtown La Crosse, directing you to a Red Cross blood donation site.  The signs bear the message “severe shortage,” and that’s being felt around the country. 

At one point in June, the Red Cross said Wisconsin was down to less than a single-day supply of blood.

Justin Kern with the Red Crosse in Milwaukee says the return to more normal activities after COVID-19 has led to increases in some medical procedures.

“What we’ve seen over the last month really is a lot more return to elective surgeries and organ transplants, as well as an increase in kind of trauma,” said Kern.    

Along with short-term blood drives around the area, La Crosse also has a blood and platelet donation center along Highway 16.   

Kern says there hasn’t been much urgency in donating blood, compared to during the height of the pandemic.

“For about 15 months, we had great turnout across the state and across the country really,” he says. “I think it was one of those things where people were looking for something they could do to make an impact, to give back.”

Kern says the Red Cross is looking for a thousand extra units of blood around the country each day, to keep up with the need. 

     

A native of Prairie du Chien, Brad graduated from UW - La Crosse and has worked in radio news for more than 30 years, mostly in the La Crosse area. He regularly covers local courts and city and county government. Brad produces the features "Yesterday in La Crosse" and "What's Buried on Brad's Desk." He also writes the website "Triviazoids," which finds odd connections between events that happen on a certain date, and he writes and performs with the local comedy group Heart of La Crosse. Brad been featured on several national TV programs because of his memory skills.

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