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Donors Needed to Replenish Red Cross Blood Supply

Man donating blood at the Red Cross

COLUMBIA, S.C., Feb. 19, 2014—The American Red Cross needs blood and platelet donors to help restock the blood supply this February.

In the South Carolina Blood Services Region, last week’s winter storm forced the cancellation of 40 Red Cross blood drives, resulting in more than 1,300 uncollected blood and platelet donations.

In total, the recent storm caused the cancellation of about 265 Red Cross blood drives in the south and along the East Coast, resulting in nearly 9,300 uncollected blood and platelet donations. Back-to-back winter storms had already canceled more than 1,000 blood drives in 34 states and Washington, D.C. this year before this latest storm.

Platelet donors as well as blood donors of all blood types are needed now and will be needed in the coming weeks to help ensure blood and platelets are available for patients. There is an urgent need for blood types O positive, O negative, A negative and B negative. Eligible donors with these blood types are strongly encouraged to make an appointment to give in the coming days.
Appointments to give blood can be made online at or by calling 1-800-RED CROSS (1-800-733-2767). A blood donor card or driver’s license or two other forms of identification are required at check-in. Individuals who are 17 years of age (16 with parental consent), 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.

In an effort to help boost local blood donations, the Red Cross is partnering with Midlands-area CiCi’s Pizza restaurants to offer a coupon for one free adult buffet with the purchase of an adult buffet and two drinks. The incentive will be offered to all presenting blood and platelet donors through Feb. 28, 2014 at the Columbia donation center, 2751 Bull St., and at participating Columbia-area blood drives.

About the American Red Cross: 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 or visit us on Twitter at @RedCross.