American Red Cross Launches Nationwide RECOVERY 2011 Plan
Red Cross issues a call for sponsors, community leaders, elected officials and donors to help replenish low blood supply due to severe winter storms
With this latest round of severe winter storms, the American Red Cross Massachusetts Blood Services region had 38 blood drives cancelled resulting in a shortfall of 2,000 blood donations since January 1.
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 28,000. As a result, collections in the month of January were the lowest in a decade.
The Red Cross is reaching out to our blood drive sponsors asking them to make a commitment to add extra blood drives this month and or to exceed blood collection goals by 10% at scheduled blood drives to help make a significant impact in the blood inventory. In Massachusetts we are currently extending the hours at many of our blood drives to try to accommodate more donors.
“The Red Cross is issuing a plea for help from sponsors, community leaders, elected officials and donors to help us recover from the unprecedented decline in blood inventory from severe winter storms. We are relying on the community to help us dig out of this deficit,” said Donna M. Morrissey, American Red Cross Blood Services - Northeast Division Director of Communications. “This winter continues to be unprecedented, both in terms of snow fall and the need to have a recovery to restore the blood supply to satisfactory levels.”
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. 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.
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 Massachusetts Blood Services Region serves 14 counties, and needs to collect about 650 units of blood a day to meet patient need in 73 hospitals.In addition to supplying nearly half 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.