Snow and ice cancels 2,100+ blood donations since Feb. 1
February 16, 2010
Donors needed despite winter weather
COLUMBUS – Severe snow and ice storms across Ohio have caused an astounding number of blood drive cancellations since February 1. In a matter of two weeks 51 blood drives in Ohio were canceled due to weather, representing 2,199 blood donations that were scheduled, but not able to be collected.
Because each donation can be separated into three parts and used with three different patients, the canceled donations mean more than 6,500 blood products were not able to be collected.
Level I and II snow emergencies declared across many Ohio counties in recent days caused many schools and businesses to close or cancel activities, including blood drives. “Blood drives are planned strategically months in advance to ensure enough blood is available on any given day for any kind of medical situation,” said Rodney Wilson, communications manager for American Red Cross Blood Services. “The need for blood never stops, not even for inclement weather. Donors are needed now to help in the recovery of canceled blood donations.”
Across Ohio the Red Cross provides blood to patients in 159 hospitals. Before the winter weather set in, blood donations in Ohio were steady. Right now, while the overall blood supply sits at sufficient levels, the Red Cross is working to address two areas of concern - supplies of O-negative, the universal type, and supplies of platelets, both of which are below sufficient levels.
With more snow in the forecast, the Red Cross expects more drive cancellations in the coming days. “Most of our blood drives still on schedule have seen very low donor turnout,” said Wilson. “We want donors to be safe, and urge the public to make and keep appointments to give blood as soon as possible.”
Individuals of all blood types are needed to donate on an ongoing basis. Type O-negative donors and platelet donors are especially encouraged to give right now. For information on open blood drives, call 1-800-RED CROSS or visit www.redcrossblood.org.
See map: Google Maps
Central Ohio Region
United States37° 5' 24.864" N, 95° 42' 46.4076" W