We all know how cold it has been in North Carolina the past few days. We also know it has been even colder in many other parts of the country. On top of the cold, some of those places have also had to deal with snow.
Did you know this? Due to winter weather, 280 Red Cross blood drives have been canceled in 25 states. That means a shortfall of nearly 8,400 blood and platelet donations.
While the severe winter weather impacts blood donation opportunities, hospital patients still need transfusions of blood and platelets. On average, the Red Cross must collect about 15,000 pints of blood every day for patients at approximately 2,700 hospitals and transfusion centers across the country.
Since the Red Cross is a national organization, we are able to move blood products from one place to another. If you donate in North Carolina, you might be saving the life of your next door neighbor- or someone in an area that has a blood shortage, due to the weather.
All blood types are needed to ensure a sufficient supply is available for patients. However, the Red Cross has an urgent need for blood types O positive, O negative, A negative and B negative. Rh negative blood types can be transfused to Rh positive and negative patients.
There is also a need for platelets. That’s a key clotting component of blood. Many cancer patients need them. Obviously, people going through cancer treatments need those transfusions, regardless of the weather. Platelets have to be transfused within five days of donation so they are always appreciated.
If you would like to donate, the easiest thing to do is call 1-800-REDCROSS. On a personal note, it might be one of the easiest 1-800 numbers I’ve ever called. Simply call the number… when you have options, hit 2… a representative will be with you shortly. They know dates and times of all local drives.