Winter storm forces cancellation of blood drives and donation appointments
American Red Cross officials urge additional blood and platelet donations
Last week’s frigid temperatures and winter storm forced the cancellation of 11 American Red Cross blood drives in four of the six states serviced in part by American Red Cross, Greater Alleghenies Blood Services region.
These cancellations, along with seven blood drives that closed early and lower than usual donor turnout at other blood drives in areas experiencing inclement weather, represent approximately a day’s worth of blood donations that went uncollected.
As the weather clears, temperatures rise and roads are passable, American Red Cross officials urge the public to make an appointment to donate blood or platelets to help replenish supplies.
“Donors of all blood types are currently needed, particularly O negative and B negative, to meet patient need,” stated John Hagins, CEO of American Red Cross, Greater Alleghenies Region. “Please donate blood this week.”
Hagins explained that type O negative blood, the universal blood type, is always in high demand because it can be transfused to patients with any blood type, especially in emergency situations, such as trauma cases.
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He added that additional platelet donors are also needed. “Platelet products must be transfused within five days of donation so after a winter storm supplies are often tight. Yet many patients with leukemia, lymphoma and other illnesses require platelet transfusions on a regular basis.”
The Greater Alleghenies blood region operates platelet donor centers in: Altoona, Pa.; Beaver, Pa.; Greensburg, Pa.; Johnstown, Pa.; and State College, Pa. Appointments are required to donate platelets; call 1-800-542-5663, extensions 2633, 2637 or 2657.