With severe winter weather approaching Eastern and Central Pennsylvania, the American Red Cross encourages eligible blood and platelet donors to make an appointment to give before travel conditions become hazardous, or for those in unaffected areas, to make an appointment to give as soon as possible to help restock the blood shelves.
During times of inclement weather, road conditions and power outages often result in the cancellation of blood drives and a shortfall of blood and platelet donations. Many Red Cross blood drives have already been canceled as a result of the impending storms, and more are expected in the coming days. On average, the Red Cross must collect about 14,000 pints of blood every day for patients at approximately 2,600 hospitals and transfusion centers across the country.
“The need for blood does not get a snow day,” said Alana Mauger, communications manager of the Northeastern Pennsylvania Blood Services Region. “It is the blood products already on the shelves that help save lives when severe weather hits.”
Eligible donors are asked to make an appointment to give blood or platelets before the approaching storm or in the days following, once it is safe to do so. To schedule an appointment to donate, please use the American Red Cross Blood Donor App
, visit redcrossblood.org
or call 1-800-RED CROSS.
How to donate blood
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 in most states (16 with parental consent where allowed by state law), 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.
Blood donors can now save time at their next donation by using RapidPass to complete their pre-donation reading and health history questionnaire online, on the day of their donation, prior to arriving at the blood drive. To get started and learn more, visit redcrossblood.org/RapidPass
and follow the instructions on the site.
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 visit us on Twitter at @RedCross