Severe winter weather affects blood donations

Last updated: February 19. 2014 3:32PM - 255 Views

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Since the beginning of January, severe winter weather and freezing temperatures have caused a drop in blood donations. The winter weather has forced the cancellation of 42 Central Ohio area blood drives so far, resulting in a shortfall of more than 1,100 blood donations locally. Across the US, that number is even greater, with more than 35,000 blood donations canceled in 34 states, including Ohio.

Right now, blood products are being distributed to hospitals as quickly as donations are coming in. Eligible donors with all blood types are needed now to help restock the Red Cross shelves. “While the severe winter weather impacts donation opportunities, hospital patients still need transfusions of blood and platelets,” said Rodney Wilson, communications manager for the local Red Cross blood program.

Because of unpredictable weather, winter is an exceptionally challenging time to maintain a strong blood supply. The Red Cross urges the public to be safe while traveling in winter weather, and if you can travel safely, to please give blood. Check out Red Cross tips on preparing for winter storms at redcross.org.

The Red Cross currently reports an urgent need for types O-negative, O-positive, A-negative and B-negative blood. Donors of all types are needed on an ongoing basis to treat patients for many kinds of injuries and illnesses.

As an extra incentive to donate, those who come to give blood in Central Ohio through the end of February can enter to win free groceries for a year from Kroger and receive a coupon for a free donut courtesy of Tim Hortons.

To find a blood drive near you and to make an appointment contact the Red Cross at 1-800-RED CROSS (1-800-733-2767) or < redcrossblood.org >.

How to Donate Blood

To schedule an appointment to donate please visit < redcrossblood.org > or call 1-800-RED CROSS (1-800-733-2767) for more information. If you are at least 17 years of age (16 with parental consent in some states), meet height and weight requirements (at least 110 pounds based on height) and are in good general health, you 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 Central Ohio Blood Services Region serves 27 counties, and needs 800 blood donors each day to meet patient needs in 41 hospitals. 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 >

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