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 thousands of blood and platelet donations to go uncollected 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 10 years.
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.
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, 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. Individuals should bring their Red Cross blood donor card or other form of positive ID when coming to donate.
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.
The American Red Cross shelters, feeds and provides emotional support to victims of disasters; supplies nearly half of the nation’s blood; 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.
For more information, visit www.redcross.org or join the blog at http://blog.redcross.org.