Newscasts

PNS Daily Newscast - February 19, 2020 


President Trump commutes the prison sentence of former Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich. Plus, warming expected to be hot topic at NV debate.

2020Talks - February 19, 2020 


Tonight's the Las Vegas debate, ahead of this weekend's Nevada caucuses. Some candidates are trying to regain the spotlight and others are trying to keep momentum.

Red Cross Focuses on MN Young Adults for Blood Donations

According to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, only 37% of the U.S. population is eligible to donate blood, and fewer than 10% of prospective donors give blood annually. (uofmhealth.org)
According to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, only 37% of the U.S. population is eligible to donate blood, and fewer than 10% of prospective donors give blood annually. (uofmhealth.org)
January 20, 2020

MINNEAPOLIS -- January is National Blood Donor Month, and there's a big need for type-O blood. In Minnesota, the American Red Cross hopes younger generations will pick up the slack and donate blood regularly, now and in the future.

The American Red Cross chapter for the Minnesota Region is appealing to high-school and college students to become routine donors. Communications Director Sue Thesenga said having younger adults sign up for the long haul takes the stress off an aging population that can't donate as much as it used to.

"As they age and become ineligible to donate blood, oftentimes due to medications they're on or their good health, we need the younger population to step up and become as dedicated of blood donors as they have been," Thesenga said.

Thesenga said they've increased the number of blood drives at high schools and colleges as part of their outreach efforts. Roughly 20% of the Red Cross's blood donations come from these students during the school year.

In Minnesota, people as young as 16 can donate blood with parental consent. In recent months, the Red Cross has consistently appealed for type-O blood, which is the type most requested by hospitals.

Thesenga said they usually encounter seasonal shortages this time of year. But she said there are other factors they're battling this year.

"Based on winter weather as we're experiencing right now, the cold and flu season is in high gear right now," she said.

In addition to last week's winter blast, the region dealt with a separate storm right after Christmas that limited travel. And Minnesota is among many states where health officials say flu activity remains widespread. Donors have to be free of flu symptoms for a full week before they can give blood.

Mike Moen, Public News Service - MN