Local Red Cross calling for donors to help blood supply recover

February 3, 2011


 Severe weather creates shortage of blood supplies



Media Contacts: Bridget Tuohey, 313-576-4184    and  Martha Roemer Kurtz, 313-494-2745

 Detroit -- With this latest round of severe winter storms, the local American Red Cross has been unable to collect 700 expected pints of blood over the course of the last two days.  Seven blood drives across the five-county coverage area were forced to be cancelled on Wednesday, February 2nd.

 Further compounding the issue, many Red Cross blood drives across the country have also been cancelled and the number of blood donations uncollected due to winter storms over the last several weeks rose to 22,500 since January 1.

 “At any given moment we have patients relying on life-saving blood products. And this need is constant, even in emergency situations,” said Diane E. Ward, CEO of the Southeastern Michigan Blood Service Region of the American Red Cross.  “The quickest help will come from those local blood donors who are able to safely travel to a blood drive or donor center near them. We are encouraging the public to donate blood and platelets as soon as it is safe to travel in the coming days and weeks.”

 People are asked to make and keep an appointment to give blood by calling 1-800-RED CROSS or visiting www.redcrossblood.org. All blood types are needed, but there is a special need for donors with O-Negative, A-Negative and B-Negative blood.

 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 build the blood supply back to sufficient levels. The Red Cross distributes blood products to approximately 3,000 hospitals and transfusion centers across the United States.

 How to Donate Blood

To schedule an appointment to donate please call 1-800-RED CROSS (1-800-733-2767) or visit redcrossblood.org for more information. Individuals who are 17 years of age (16 with parental permission in some states), 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.


About the American Red Cross

The Southeastern Michigan Blood Services Region serves five counties, and needs to collect about 900 units of blood a day to meet patient need in 43 hospitals.In addition to supplying nearly half of the nation’s blood, the American Red Cross teaches lifesaving skills, provides international humanitarian aid; and supports military members and their families. The Red Cross is a charitable organization—not a government agency—and depends on volunteers and the generosity of the American public to perform its mission.