RECOVERY 2011: Red Cross calling for donors to help blood supply recover from effects of severe winter weather
*UPDATED - 02-14-2011
With this latest round of severe winter storms, the Central Ohio Red Cross has been forced to cancel 30 blood drives resulting in a shortfall of more than 1,100 blood donations this winter.
Further compounding the issue, this storm was so massive that many Red Cross blood drives in other parts of the country were also cancelled. The total number of blood donations uncollected due to winter storms since January 1 has risen to more than 32,000.
“At any given moment, patients rely on life-saving blood products. The need is constant -- even in emergency situations,” said Dr. Mary Ellen Wissel, Medical Director for the Central Ohio Blood Services Region of the Red Cross. “The quickest help will come from local blood donors who are able to travel safely to a nearby blood drive or donor center in the days and weeks ahead.
In Central Ohio the Red Cross is working to reschedule blood drives that had to cancel, and is also striving to recruit 10 percent more donors to blood drives scheduled this month. Donor Center hours have been extended as well, to accommodate any schedule.
People are asked to make and keep an appointment to give blood or platelets 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, and 41 here in Central Ohio. 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.
As an added bonus, those who come to give blood in February can enter to win free groceries for a year from Kroger! To find out where you can give blood and to schedule your appointment, go to redcrossblood.org or call 1-800-RED CROSS (1-800-733-2767) for additional information.