Winter Storm Forces Cancellation of Red Cross Blood Drives across U.S.
This week’s winter storm has forced the cancellation of hundreds of American Red Cross blood drives along the eastern seaboard, causing a shortfall of more than 8,000 blood donations in the southeast, northeast and Great Lakes areas of the country. In Central Ohio alone, 12 blood drives were canceled, representing nearly 600 blood donations not able to be collected. Plus, the weather has caused low donor turn out at drives still being held. The local Red Cross currently has a shortfall of more than 1,000 blood donations.
Red Cross Blood Regions in the southeast reported that more than 6,000 blood donations could not be collected due to the storm which paralyzed the South. In the northeast, Red Cross Blood Regions reported that nearly 2,000 blood donations were not collected as the snow was still falling.
“The result of the cancellation of that many blood drives and consequently all those blood donations translates into as many as 24,000 blood products that we now do not have available for patients who may need them,” said Chris Hrouda, executive vice president of American Red Cross Biomedical Services. “We are asking anyone in these areas who is eligible to give blood to please consider making an appointment to donate as soon as it is safe to do so.”
If you’re in an area unaffected by the storms, your donations could help meet the blood needs of those in your local community, or wherever blood is needed is most. There is a particular need for people with O-negative blood to give now. O-negative is the universal blood type which can go to any patient regardless of their blood type. O-negative blood is often used in emergency cases when doctors can’t wait to type a patient’s blood. Types A-negative and B-negative are also especially needed now.
As an added bonus for blood donors, those who come to give during January, which is National Volunteer Blood Donor Month, 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, for additional information.