Recovery 2011: Local Red Cross calling for eligible donors to help the blood supply recover from effects of severe winter weather nationwide
Communities across the country have been hit by another round of severe winter storms. The American Red Cross has been forced to cancel over 750 blood drives nationwide, resulting in a shortfall of more than 28,000 blood donations since January 1. Locally, winter weather in the River Valley Region has forced the cancelation of 744 donations since January 1.
“At any given moment, patients rely on lifesaving blood products. The need is constant – even during severe weather situations,” said Linda Voss, CEO of the River Valley Red Cross Blood Services region. “The quickest help will come from our local blood donors who are able to travel safely to a nearby blood drive or donor center and give blood in the days and weeks ahead.”
People are asked to make and keep an appointment to give blood by calling 1-800-RED CROSS (1-800-733-2767) or visiting redcrossblood.org. All blood types are needed, but there is a special need for donors with type O negative, A negative and B negative blood.
The Red Cross distributes blood nationwide so even though our area has not been affected by the winter storms, our support can help those who are affected.
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.
Additional blood donation opportunities have been scheduled locally to help replenish the blood supply.
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 permission 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
Governed by volunteers and supported by giving individuals and communities, the American Red Cross is the single largest supplier of blood products to hospitals throughout the United States. While local hospital needs are always met first, the Red Cross also helps ensure no patient goes without blood no matter where or when they need it. In addition to providing nearly half of the nation’s blood supply, the Red Cross provides relief to victims of disaster, trains millions in lifesaving skills, serves as a communication link between U.S. military members and their families, and assists victims of international disasters or conflicts.