KPD participates in national Blue Blood Drive

KEARNEY, Neb. (KSNB) - A post-holiday blood shortage is leaving the American Red Cross in critical need of blood donors. To help meet that need, the Kearney Police Department participated in a nation-wide blood drive.

The Kearney Police Department participated in the national Blue Blood Drive Monday. (Source: Kelsey Dickeson, KSNB)

This is the first year KPD hosted the national Blue Blood Drive Monday at the Law Enforcement Center. The drive is organized by the Red Cross and a group called the Concerns of Police Survivors (C.O.P.S).

Around 35 people donated blood, helping KPD meet their goal of 15 units in just two hours.

"As first responders we're very aware of the need for blood and the shortage of blood in this area," said Capt. Mike Young, Kearney Police Department. "We respond to those serious vehicle accidents and serious injuries.So we see that on a daily basis, the importance of blood drives, and the importance of blood."

Every two seconds someone in the U.S. receives a blood transfusion, but only 3 percent of the population gives blood on a regular basis.

Just between Christmas and New years, 500 blood drives were canceled across the country. Severe weather and the holidays contributed to the low number of drives.

"The Red Cross nationally has to collect 14,000 units every day to meet the need," said Jeremy Aupperlee, account manager for the Red Cross. "So when you have winter weather it makes a huge impact. Just here locally in Nebraska we have to collect 500 units every day."

Right now, the Red Cross is in critical need of all blood types, especially O positive and O negative.

The Red Cross has also teamed up with the NFL to encourage people to donate. If you donate blood from now until January 19, you'll be entered for a chance to win tickets to the Superbowl.

You can find a location to donate online.