Red Cross Has Urgent Need For Blood Donors

Red Cross Has Urgent Need For Blood Donors

Ronald Pratt
January 9, 2018

Todd Kulman - with the Red Cross of MI - says the severe winter weather over the past few weeks has been a major cause of the shortage, along with high levels of sick people during this cold and flu season.

"Last week's massive winter storm had a significant impact on our blood supply with blood drives cancelled from SC to ME", said Chris Hrouda, president, Red Cross Blood Services. The American Red Cross says these affected more than 28,000 fewer donations than needed in November and December. More than 150 blood drives were forced to cancel.

The agency critically needs donations of platelets, which have a short shelf life.

Many donors have planned to take part in the day's collection with an appointment, but walk-ins also will be taken on Monday.

"Patients at local hospitals rely on people giving blood". Accident and burn victims, heart surgery and organ transplant patients, and patients receiving treatment for leukemia, cancer or sickle cell disease may all require blood to help save their lives. "Sometimes they'll send a friend or family member in their spot to donate so we don't lose that blood product".

OBI is urging donors to give blood at the donor centers or mobile blood drives.

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"We especially need donors with B negative and O negative blood".

Type O negative: The blood type that can be transfused to nearly everyone and is what doctors reach for in trauma situations.

"We know the weather conditions can discourage people from going out and cause them to cancel appointments, but we really need people to keep those appointments", said Kristen Lane, marketing lead for Central Blood Bank.

Type B negative can be transfused to Rh-positive or negative patients.

Type AB: The plasma type that can be transfused to nearly everyone and can be donated through a platelet or plasma donation, where available, or during a regular blood donation. The Red Cross is a not-for-profit organization that depends on volunteers and the generosity of the American public to perform its mission.