Red Cross declares critical need for blood, platelets

BY KAYLA ROBINS
kayla@theitem.com
Posted 1/24/18

Ongoing severe weather has more than doubled the number of canceled American Red Cross blood drives, resulting in what the agency is declaring a critical situation for blood and platelet shortages.

More than 550 blood drives have been canceled …

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Red Cross declares critical need for blood, platelets

Posted

Ongoing severe weather has more than doubled the number of canceled American Red Cross blood drives, resulting in what the agency is declaring a critical situation for blood and platelet shortages.

More than 550 blood drives have been canceled due to winter weather in January, causing more than 16,500 blood and platelet donations to go uncollected through last week, according to the agency.

"Blood and platelet donations are currently being distributed to hospitals faster than they are coming in," Clifford Numark, senior vice president of Red Cross Blood Services, said in a news release. "Donors are critically needed to restock the shelves for patients in their community as well as areas where donors are unable to give due to inclement weather."

In South Carolina, 23 blood drives have been canceled, causing more than 650 donations to go uncollected. Bitter cold and a harsh flu season have contributed to low turnouts at many blood drives, according to the Red Cross.

"Every day, no matter the weather, the Red Cross must collect more than 13,000 blood and platelet donations to meet the needs of patients," according to the agency. "Accident victims and patients with cancer, sickle cell disease, blood disorders and other illnesses may require potentially lifesaving transfusions every day."

Make an appointment to give blood or platelets by downloading the free Red Cross Blood Donor App, visiting www.redcrossblood.org or calling 1-800-RED CROSS (1-800-733-2767).