LMH Health blood supplier declares 2nd blood emergency of 2023; donors at upcoming drive will receive a free ticket to soccer match in Lawrence

photo by: Sporting KC II

Sporting KC II forward Alenis Vargas lines up a shot against Colorado Rapids 2 on Sunday, July 30, 2023, at Rock Chalk Park. SKC II went on to win the match 4-0.

Lawrence residents who are willing to make the trip to Kansas City, Kansas, on Friday for a blood drive benefiting LMH Health’s blood supplier will get a free ticket to a soccer match later the same evening in Lawrence.

The Community Blood Center of Greater Kansas City, which provides the vast majority of blood used by more than 60 area hospitals, including LMH Health, is hosting a blood drive in partnership with Sporting Kansas City from noon to 6 p.m. Friday at Children’s Mercy Park, One Sporting Way in Kansas City.

All registered donors will receive a free T-shirt and a ticket to the Sporting Kansas City II playoff match against Austin FC II at Rock Chalk Park, 6100 Rock Chalk Drive, that evening at 7. Sporting Kansas City II is the feeder team representing Sporting Kansas City’s professional club within Major League Soccer’s NEXT Pro league and has played its home games in Lawrence this season.

The promotion coincides with the Community Blood Center’s declaration of a blood emergency following a summer of low donor turnout, according to a news release announcing the drive.

“Contributing to the shortage are the recent Labor Day holiday, back-to-school activities and a prolonged 50% decrease in youth and first-time donors,” the release reads.

This is the second blood emergency the Community Blood Center has announced in 2023; the first one, announced in March, was also due in part to lagging youth and first-time donors.

Now, the Community Blood Center says the region is well below its optimal five- to seven-day blood supply, with types O+, O-, B- and platelets “critically low” in particular.

The issue isn’t just affecting Kansas and Missouri. In just the past week, blood suppliers in Nebraska, Minnesota and Delaware have declared a blood emergency, and the American Red Cross declared a national blood shortage earlier this month.

Donors can give blood every 56 days, while platelets — the more fragile, short-lived components of blood essential for normal blood clotting — can be given even more frequently, twice per month. However, platelet donations can’t take place at mobile drives because they can take around two hours. Instead, donors interested in giving platelets will need to schedule an appointment at a nearby Community Blood Center neighborhood donation location in Topeka or Olathe.

Donors can make an appointment for Friday’s blood drive on the Community Blood Center’s website. As of Tuesday afternoon, around 30 slots were still available.


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