Red Cross urges blood and platelet donations after winter storm cancels blood drives
(Feb. 25, 2013)— Severe winter weather across much of Missouri and parts of Illinois and eastern Kansas last week forced the cancellation of approximately 20 American Red Cross blood drives, resulting in a shortfall of more than 1,200 blood and platelet donations through the Red Cross Missouri-Illinois Blood Services Region. Now that the storm has passed, eligible donors are encouraged to give lifesaving blood and platelets to help offset the current shortfall and ensure a stable supply.
“While inclement winter weather can hinder blood and platelet donations, patients’ needs for these lifesaving blood products is constant.” said Scott Caswell, CEO of the Missouri-Illinois Blood Services Region, which serves nearly 80 hospitals region wide. “Now that the severe weather has subsided, we encourage eligible donors to give and help ensure patients’ needs continue to be met.”
All blood types are needed, especially types O negative, A negative and B negative. Platelets are also in great need as they have a shelf life of just five days and must be replenished regularly.
How to donate blood
Simply call 1-800-RED CROSS (1-800-733-2767) or visit redcrossblood.org to make an appointment or for more information. All blood types are needed to ensure a reliable supply for patients. A blood donor card or driver’s license or two other forms of identification are required at check-in. Individuals who are 17 years of age (16 with parental consent in some states), weigh at least 110 pounds and are in generally good health may be eligible to donate blood. High school students and other donors 18 years of age and younger also have to meet certain height and weight requirements.
About the American Red Cross
The American Red Cross shelters, feeds and provides emotional support to victims of disasters; supplies about 40 percent of the nation’s blood; teaches skills that save lives; provides international humanitarian aid; and supports military members and their families. The Red Cross is a not-for-profit organization that depends on volunteers and the generosity of the American public to perform its mission. For more information, please visit redcross.org or join our blog at http://blog.redcross.org.