Local Blood Donors Still Needed to Recover From Weather-Related Shortage

Local Blood Donors Still Needed to Recover From Weather-Related Shortage

This January - National Blood Donor Month - the American Red Cross has an urgent need for blood donors of all blood types to make an appointment to give now and help address a winter blood donation shortage.

"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.

Erie News Now stopped by to get an update on the critical need that was announced last week. "We're asking donors to help us have a strong recovery from the cold snap to help make sure we can provide a steady blood supply for our local hospitals". The critical call for donors is being made, in anticipation for more severe weather.

Chilly weather and the recent flu problem has caused a big drop in blood donations.

"In fact, 38 percent of people in the United States are actually eligible to donate at any given time, so if you can't donate, you're in the majority, and that's part of the reason why we need so many people to donate", he said.

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The Red Cross needs approximately 275 blood donations every day in the region, she added.

Eligible individuals are urged to schedule a blood or platelet donation today by using the Red Cross Blood Donor App, visiting redcrossblood.org or calling 1-800-REDCROSS (1-800-733-2767). Numerous donors, Scott said, were new donors, something that is common at high school blood drives. Typically, donors must be at least 17-years-old, weigh at least 110 pounds, be in good health and meet a series of other eligibility requirements.

Platelets, a key clotting component of blood often needed by cancer patients, must be transfused within five days of donation and, therefore, are always in high demand.

Road conditions and too much snow also forces them to close for the safety of donors.

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