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Local Blood Supply Impacted by Wednesday’s Severe Snow Storm

Penn-Jersey Blood Services Region

February 11, 2010
 

The American Red Cross is Asking Blood Donors to Respond

Philadelphia – Wednesday’s blizzard-like conditions have impacted blood donations across the area served by the Penn-Jersey Region. The American Red Cross expected to see 1,300 donors on Wednesday, however due to inclement weather all blood drives were cancelled.

This has the potential to seriously affect the ability of the Red Cross to provide blood and blood products to local hospitals and their patients.

“This is an emergency situation that can only be resolved by the willingness of people in our community to step forward and give blood for others in need,” says Brigid O’Neill-LaGier, Chief Executive Officer of the American Red Cross Penn-Jersey Blood Services Region. “We are urgently asking blood donors to call 1-800-RED CROSS or make an online blood donation appointment.”

As a result of this week’s two snow storms the Red Cross was unable to collect approximately 1,900 units of blood, and numerous cancellations of blood drives and scheduled donations appointments have put the local blood supply at a very low level.

“To this point we have been able to meet all patient transfusion needs through a combination of local collections and support of other American Red Cross Blood Centers across the country. However, transportation of blood products on Wednesday from other parts of country was not possible due to the airport closure and road conditions that prevented our normal deliveries.

“We urgently need the support of the community to increase our local blood supply for the rest of this week and into next week, by scheduling an appointment to donate blood."

While all blood types are always needed, the American Red Cross is particularly asking type O and B donors to call and schedule an appointment, platelet donations are also urgently needed.

O negative is the universal blood type because it can be transfused to virtually any patient and is often used in trauma situations. Type B blood is a less common blood type that is also at risk for frequent shortage. 

The American Red Cross Penn-Jersey Region supplies blood to over 100 hospitals in New Jersey and five counties in Southeastern Pennsylvania.

Blood drives are held seven days a week in communities across the region. To make an immediate appointment for an American Red Cross blood drive this week, please call 1-800-RED CROSS, or click here to find a listing of community blood drives

Individuals who are 17 years of age (16 with parental permission in PA and NJ), 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.