Appalachian Blood Services Region
RECOVERY 2011: Local Red Cross calling for donors to help blood supply recover from effects of severe winter weather nationwide
Communities across the country have been hit by another round of severe winter storms. The American Red Cross has been forced to cancel over 750 blood drives nationwide, resulting in a shortfall of more than 28,000 blood donations since January 1. The Appalachian Blood Services Region, headquartered in Roanoke, Virginia has been forced to cancel several blood drives resulting in a loss of over 600 blood donations since mid-December.
The Red Cross distributes blood nationwide and the sever weather thus far this winter has seriously impacted the ability to meet hospital requests for blood and platelets.
“At any given moment, patients rely on life-saving blood products. The need is constant -- even in severe weather situations,” said Bob Lutjen, spokesperson for the Appalachian Region of the Red Cross. “The quickest help will come from our local blood donors who are able to travel safely to a nearby blood drive or donor center. We are encouraging people in our area to donate blood and platelets in the coming days and weeks.”
The Red Cross is seeking to increase the donations at two donor centers in particular, the Downtown Donor Center at 352 Church Ave. in Roanoke and the Community Donor Center at 1900 Tate Springs Rd. in Lynchburg. Both of these locations have multiple donation opportunities each week and provide easy access and convenience to donors helping contribute to blood supply recovery efforts.
People are asked to make and keep an appointment to give blood by calling 1-800-RED CROSS or visiting redcrossblood.org. All blood types are needed, but there is a special need for donors with O-Negative, A-Negative and B-Negative blood.
The Red Cross distributes blood products to approximately 3,000 hospitals and transfusion centers across the United States. People have been responding to the call for blood donors, and the Red Cross is grateful to those who are stepping up to donate blood to help the blood supply recover and return to sufficient levels.
How to Donate Blood
To schedule an appointment to donate please call 1-800-RED CROSS (1-800-733-2767) or visit redcrossblood.org for more information. Individuals who are 17 years of age (16 with parental permission in some states), meet weight and height requirements (110 pounds or more, depending on their height) and are in generally good health may be eligible to donate blood. Please bring your Red Cross blood donor card or other form of positive ID when you come to donate.
About the American Red Cross
The Appalachian Blood Services Region serves 46 counties in SWVA and SE WV, and needs to collect about 300 pints of blood a day to meet patient need in 37 hospitals.In addition to supplying nearly half of the nation’s blood, the American Red Cross teaches lifesaving skills, provides international humanitarian aid; and supports military members and their families. The Red Cross is a charitable organization—not a government agency—and depends on volunteers and the generosity of the American public to perform its mission.