The Daily Item, Sunbury, PA

February 6, 2014

Donors Needed to Replenish Red Cross Blood Supply


The Daily Item

— The American Red Cross needs blood and platelet donors to help restock the blood supply this February. Severe winter weather throughout January across much of the country forced the cancellation of about 770 Red Cross blood drives, resulting in more than 25,000 uncollected blood and platelet donations.

On average, the Red Cross must collect about 15,000 units of blood every day for patients at approximately 2,700 hospitals and transfusion centers across the country. With additional winter weather already forecast for parts of the country in the next week or two, all blood types are currently needed to ensure a sufficient blood supply is 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.

Platelets, a key clotting component of blood often needed by cancer patients, must be transfused within five days of donation, so donations are constantly needed. Red blood cells, the oxygen carrying component of blood, are the most widely transfused blood product and must be transfused within 42 days.

While weather in this area did not cause problems for blood drives, the Red Cross hopes local blood donors will continue to support patients in need. Now that weather conditions have improved in this area, the Red Cross hopes that both regular donors and some first-time donors will help make up the January deficit.

Upcoming blood donation opportunities:

Call (800) 733-2767 or visit redcrossblood.org to make an appointment or for more information. 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 in some states), 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.