Penn-Jersey Blood Services Region
Winter storms cause more blood drive cancellations
Philadelphia, January 27, 2011 – The latest winter storm on the East Coast is causing more blood drive cancellations and the American Red Cross is urging people in unaffected areas of the country to schedule a blood donation in the coming days.
Earlier this week the Red Cross issued a nationwide appeal for blood donors to boost a dwindling blood supply. Winter weather caused the loss of thousands of blood and platelet donations throughout the eastern half of the country. The latest snowfall has worsened the situation, with more blood drives cancelled and a total of about 16,400 blood and platelet donations not collected over the last several weeks. The Red Cross has not seen its blood supply drop this dramatically at this time of year over the past ten years.
“Here in the Penn-Jersey Blood Services Region, we have been unable to collect more than 2,200 units of blood during the month of January due to severe weather conditions,” said Anthony C. Tornetta, Communications Manager, American Red Cross.
People across the country have been responding to the call for blood donors, and the Red Cross hopes that support will continue. Despite the weather, patients continue to need blood. After a prolonged drop in blood donations, it takes time to build the blood supply back to an adequate level.
All blood types are needed, but there is a particular need for people with negative blood types – O-negative, A-negative and B-negative - to give blood now.
Everyone who is eligible is urged to make an appointment to give blood or platelets in the coming days by calling 1-800-RED CROSS (1-800-733-2767) or by visiting www.redcrossblood.org.
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.
* Please Note: Red Cross representatives are available for interviews with the media. Please contact the communications representative to arrange interviews or access to blood drives for members of the media.