More Snow Results in Drop in Region's Blood Supply.

January 12, 2011

Blood Supply Alert:

More Snow Results in Drop in Region’s Blood Supply.

Red Cross officials urge the public to donate as soon as possible to replenish supplies and avoid a serious shortage

Roanoke, VA.– January, 10, 2011:  As more winter weather impacts several areas across the Region, Red Cross officials are concerned about a shrinking blood supply. Only a few weeks into the winter and already bouts with snow have forced the cancellation of several blood drives in the Region and low donor turnout at others. 

December drive cancellations resulted in the loss of over 600 pints of blood, creating a serious drop in an already fragile supply. These losses were worsened with typically fewer blood drives scheduled close to the holidays resulting in fewer blood donations through the first week of January.

“Our blood services region covers 46 counties in southwest Virginia and southeastern West Virginia some or all of which have been impacted by snow and ice in the past few weeks,” said Bob Lutjen, Red Cross spokesman. “We are urging donors to respond to the nearest drives in their area to help avert any potential for an emergency.”

The Appalachian Region needs to collect approximately 300 donations every day; reduced collections can have a serious effect on the availability of blood for transfusion. To help ensure that all patients in your community receive the blood they need, the Red Cross asks eligible blood donors to schedule a donation appointment in the coming days.  All blood types are needed and there is a special need for type O negative’ A negative and B negative donors to help maintain an adequate inventory.

Select the web link for more information on eligibility, the donation process or to schedule an on-line appointment for a blood drive or donor center.