RECOVERY 2011: Local Red Cross calling for donors to help blood supply recover from effects of severe winter weather
St. Louis, MO, February 9, 2011- With this latest round of severe winter storms, the Missouri-Illinois Blood Services Region has been forced to cancel 83 blood drives resulting in a shortfall of almost 3,300 blood donations since January 1. Nationally, the Red Cross has lost 28,000 blood donations due to weather storms.
“At any given moment, patients rely on life-saving blood products. The need is constant -- even in emergency situations,” said CEO, Scott L. Caswell, Missouri-Illinois region of the Red Cross. “The quickest help will come from local blood donors who are able to travel safely to a nearby blood drive or donor center in the days and weeks ahead.
In effort to replenish our low blood supply, the Missouri-Illinois Region will extend blood drive hours up to one hour as long as potential donors are attempting to donate at any given drive. The Red Cross is also extending donation center hours.
Those willing to help patients in need by donating blood 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 American Red Cross shelters, feeds and provides emotional support to victims of disasters; supplies nearly half of the nation's blood; 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. For more information, please visit www.redcross.org or join our blog at http://blog.redcross.org.