Winter Storms Reduce Blood Supply

January 13, 2011 Updated Jan 13, 2011 at 3:12 PM EDT

By WKBW News

...

Winter Storms Reduce Blood Supply

January 13, 2011 Updated Jan 13, 2011 at 3:12 PM EDT

January 13, 2011 ( release) – This week’s winter storm has forced the cancellation of hundreds of American Red Cross blood drives along the eastern seaboard, causing a shortfall of more than 8,000 blood donations in the southeast and northeast corners of the country.

Red Cross Regions in the southeast reported that more than 6,000 blood donations could not be collected due to the storm which paralyzed the South. In the northeast, Red Cross Blood Regions had a loss of over 2,200 blood donations due to the impact of the storm on Wednesday.

“The American Red Cross is asking eligible blood donors to make an appointment to donate blood to help make up the significant shortfall caused by the recent storm that gripped the eastern seaboard,” said Donna M. Morrissey, Director of Communications, American Red Cross Blood Services – Northeast Division. “The American Red Cross is rescheduling blood drives that were cancelled and asking donors to come in to give blood and platelets in the upcoming days to help increase blood inventory levels as soon as it is safe to do so,” Morrissey added.

In Buffalo, donors have an opportunity to give blood on Saturday, January 15 from 10 a.m. – 3 p.m. at the Red Cross Donor Center at 786 Delaware Avenue at a blood drive to honor Martin Luther King, Jr. and celebrate his legacy of community service. Additionally, there are many other community blood drives scheduled in upcoming days, which can be located on redcrossblood.org.

There is a particular need for people with O-negative blood to give now. O-negative is the universal blood type which can go to any patient regardless of their blood type. O-negative blood is often used in emergency cases when doctors can’t wait to type a patient’s blood. All blood types are needed. The only source of blood is a generous, volunteer blood donor.

To celebrate National Blood Donor Month and help increase awareness about the need for blood, Dunkin’ Donuts and the American Red Cross are teaming up for the fourth annual “Give a Pint, Get a Pound” campaign, which provides a coupon for a free pound of Dunkin’ Donuts coffee* to all presenting donors at Red Cross blood drives in Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New York and Vermont during the month of January. To schedule an appointment or to sponsor a blood drive, please call 1-800-RED CROSS or visit redcrossblood.org.

Individuals who are at least 17 years of age, (16 with parental permission in Maine, Massachusetts, and New Hampshire), weigh at least 110 pounds, and are in generally good health may be eligible to donate blood. High school students and donors 18 years of age and younger also have to meet certain height and weight requirements. Please bring your Red Cross blood donor card or other form of positive ID when you come to donate.

*Coupons are redeemable at participating Dunkin’ Donuts locations. Coupons are non-transferrable and not redeemable for cash.