Donors Needed to Replenish Red Cross Blood Supply
Urgent need for platelet donors, blood donors with types O, A negative and B negative
Lansing, MI—February 4—The American Red Cross needs blood and platelet donors to help restock the blood supply this February. Severe winter weather throughout January across much of the country forced the cancellation of about 770 Red Cross blood drives, resulting in more than 25,000 uncollected blood and platelet donations.
“Blood products were distributed to hospitals as quickly as the donations came in,” said Jim Flickema, CEO of the Red Cross Great Lakes Blood Services Region. “The extraordinary number of cancellations in January was the equivalent of the Red Cross having to shut down its national operations for more than an entire day.”
On average, the Red Cross must collect about 15,000 units of blood every day for patients at approximately 2,700 hospitals and transfusion centers across the country. With additional winter weather already forecast for parts of the country in the next week or two, all blood types are currently needed to ensure a sufficient blood supply is available for patients.
There is an urgent need for blood types O positive, O negative, A negative and B negative. Eligible donors with these blood types are strongly encouraged to make an appointment to give in the coming days.
Platelets, a key clotting component of blood often needed by cancer patients, must be transfused within five days of donation, so donations are constantly needed. Red blood cells, the oxygen carrying component of blood, are the most widely transfused blood product and must be transfused within 42 days.
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 Great Lakes Blood Services Region serves 65 counties, and needs to collect about 650 units of blood a day to meet patient need in hospitals. In addition to supplying about 40 percent 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.