Red Cross blames weather, flu for critical shortage of blood supply

HAMPTON ROADS, Va. - The Red Cross says there is a critical shortage of blood supplies,  and they're blaming the weather.

There are lots of open appointments and empty chairs inside the Red Cross Blood Donation Center in Hampton.

Regular donor Jurlean Cook showed up Wednesday night to donate despite working two jobs because she said she knows what it’s like for a loved one to need blood.

“My husband needed a lot of blood before he died and I appreciated the people that had given for him. The least I could do was give back,” said Cook.

The need for blood is great right now - and it usually is this time of year - but the snowstorms we experienced and the flu season are making it even worse, according to the Red Cross.

They said the snow caused 600 blood drives to cancel, resulting in more than 17,500 donations to not be collected. The flu is also causing fewer people to turn out to donate.

“We had to close hundreds of drives,” said Coastal Virginia Red Cross Executive Director Marissa Nihill. “The impact with the snowstorms and flu season, this is a tough time of year for us to get blood donations.”

They said they need all types of blood, but specifically O negative and B negative.

News 3’s Margaret Kavanagh donated blood for the first time in several years.

The procedure entails the donor answering a series of health questions. Health officials then test iron levels and draw your blood from one arm.

The whole process took about 45 minutes.

Cook said donating regularly is a way for her to give back to the community.

“It's the one thing I can do that doesn't cost a thing and I could help somebody,” said Cook.

Below is information from the Red Cross:

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

Below is a list of upcoming blood donation opportunities taking place from Feb. 16-28:

Virginia

Accomack County

Oak Hall

2/22/2018: 8 a.m. - 2 p.m., Arcadia High School, 8210 Lankford Hwy.

Onancock

2/20/2018: 11 a.m. - 3 p.m., Riverside Shore Memorial, 20480 Market Street

Onley

2/23/2018: 9 a.m. - 2 p.m., Nandua High School, 26350 Lankford Hwy.

Chesapeake City

Chesapeake

2/16/2018: 1 p.m. - 7 p.m., Great Bridge Lodge #257, 148 Mt Pleasant Road

2/16/2018: 3 p.m. - 7 p.m., Crossroads Community Church, 2109 Centerville Turnpike South

2/17/2018: 9 a.m. - 3 p.m., Greenbrier Community Church, 825 Greenbrier Parkway

2/18/2018: 12 p.m. - 5 p.m., Greenbrier Mall, 1401 Greenbrier Parkway

2/19/2018: 1 p.m. - 6 p.m., Greenbrier Mall, 1401 Greenbrier Parkway

2/23/2018: 10 a.m. - 3 p.m., Michael & Son, 1229 South Military Highway

2/25/2018: 12 p.m. - 5 p.m., Greenbrier Mall-Near Sears Loading Dock Entrance, 1401 Greenbrier Parkway

2/27/2018: 10 a.m. - 4 p.m., Lifestyle Center Chesapeake Regional Healthcare, 800 Battlefield Boulevard North

2/28/2018: 3 p.m. - 7 p.m., Willow Creek Gracious Retirement Living, 516 Great Bridge Blvd.

Gloucester County

Gloucester

2/27/2018: 12 p.m. - 6 p.m., Grace Covenant Presbyterian Church, 6470 Main Street

Hayes

2/17/2018: 9 a.m. - 2 p.m., Gloucester Church of Christ, 2432 Hayes Road

Hampton City

2/22/2018: 2 p.m. - 7 p.m., Northampton Christian Church, 1409 Todds Lane

2/28/2018: 1 p.m. - 6 p.m., Hampton Roads Chapter, 1323 W. Pembroke Avenue

Isle of Wight County

Smithfield

2/21/2018: 8 a.m. - 2 p.m., Smithfield High School, 14171 Turner Drive

Windsor

2/26/2018: 1 p.m. - 5 p.m., Isle of Wight Ruritan Club House, 17011 Courthouse Highway

Zuni

2/28/2018: 2 p.m. - 6 p.m., Tucker Swamp Baptist Church, 37527 Seacock Chapel Road

James City County

Williamsburg

2/20/2018: 7:45 a.m. - 12 p.m., Eastern State Hospital-Building 3, 4601 Ironbound Road

2/23/2018: 10 a.m. - 4 p.m., Ford's Colony Swim & Tennis Club, 302 Saint Andrews Drive

2/27/2018: 2 p.m. - 7 p.m., Jamestown Presbyterian, 3287 Ironbound Road

Newport News City

2/16/2018: 9:30 a.m. - 3 p.m., Riverside Regional Medical Center, 500 J. Clyde Morris Blvd

2/18/2018: 11 a.m. - 3 p.m., Calvary Seventh Day Adventist Church, 1200 17th Street

2/19/2018: 1 p.m. - 6 p.m., Patrick Henry Mall, 12300 Jefferson Avenue

2/22/2018: 11 a.m. - 3 p.m., City of Newport News Public Works/Annex, 511 Oyster Point Road

2/22/2018: 2 p.m. - 7 p.m., Chestnut Memorial United Methodist Church, 1024 Harpersville Road

2/23/2018: 10 a.m. - 3 p.m., Newport News-Williamsburg International Airport, 900 Bland Blvd., Suite G.

2/27/2018: 10 a.m. - 3 p.m., The Chesapeake, 955 Harpersville Road

Norfolk City

Norfolk

2/16/2018: 8:15 a.m. - 2:45 p.m., Norfolk Blood Donation Center, 250 West Brambleton Avenue

2/16/2018: 3 p.m. - 7 p.m., American Legion Post 327, 705 Lesner Avenue

2/17/2018: 7:45 a.m. - 2:30 p.m., Norfolk Blood Donation Center, 250 West Brambleton Avenue

2/18/2018: 7:45 a.m. - 2:30 p.m., Norfolk Blood Donation Center, 250 West Brambleton Avenue

2/19/2018: 7:45 a.m. - 5:30 p.m., Norfolk Blood Donation Center, 250 West Brambleton Avenue

2/19/2018: 8 a.m. - 2 p.m., Sentara Norfolk General Hospital, 600 Gresham Drive

2/20/2018: 7:45 a.m. - 2:15 p.m., Norfolk Blood Donation Center, 250 West Brambleton Avenue

2/21/2018: 12:15 p.m. - 6:45 p.m., Norfolk Blood Donation Center, 250 West Brambleton Avenue

2/22/2018: 11:15 a.m. - 5:45 p.m., Norfolk Blood Donation Center, 250 West Brambleton Avenue

2/23/2018: 8:15 a.m. - 2:45 p.m., Norfolk Blood Donation Center, 250 West Brambleton Avenue

2/24/2018: 7:45 a.m. - 2:30 p.m., Norfolk Blood Donation Center, 250 West Brambleton Avenue

2/24/2018: 9 a.m. - 2 p.m., Miles Memorial United Methodist Church, 9450 Granby St

2/25/2018: 7:45 a.m. - 2:30 p.m., Norfolk Blood Donation Center, 250 West Brambleton Avenue

2/26/2018: 7:45 a.m. - 5:30 p.m., Norfolk Blood Donation Center, 250 West Brambleton Avenue

2/27/2018: 7:45 a.m. - 2:15 p.m., Norfolk Blood Donation Center, 250 West Brambleton Avenue

2/28/2018: 12:15 p.m. - 6:45 p.m., Norfolk Blood Donation Center, 250 West Brambleton Avenue

Suffolk City

Suffolk

2/28/2018: 12 p.m. - 4 p.m., Dominion Virginia Power, 5272 Godwin Boulevard

Virginia Beach City

Virginia Beach

2/17/2018: 9 a.m. - 3 p.m., Virginia Beach Blood Donation Center, 4554 Virginia Beach Blvd.

2/19/2018: 2 p.m. - 7 p.m., Virginia Beach Masons Lynnhaven Lodge 56th District, 2959 North Lynnhaven Road

2/20/2018: 7:30 a.m. - 1:30 p.m., NEXCOM, 3280 Virginia Beach Boulevard

2/20/2018: 9 a.m. - 3 p.m., Virginia Beach Blood Donation Center, 4554 Virginia Beach Blvd.

2/20/2018: 2 p.m. - 7 p.m., Kempsville Elementary, 570 Kempsville Road

2/22/2018: 11 a.m. - 4 p.m. Sentara Virginia Beach General Front Lobby, 1060 First Colonial Rd

2/22/2018: 1 p.m. - 7 p.m., Virginia Beach Blood Donation Center, 4554 Virginia Beach Blvd.

2/24/2018: 8:30 a.m. - 2:30 p.m., St. John the Apostle Catholic Church, 1968 Sandbridge Road

2/24/2018: 9 a.m. - 3 p.m., Virginia Beach Blood Donation Center, 4554 Virginia Beach Blvd.

2/25/2018: 9 a.m. - 3 p.m., Temple Emanuel, 424 25th Street

2/26/2018: 3 p.m. - 7 p.m., Birdneck Elementary School, 957 South Birdneck Road

2/27/2018: 9 a.m. - 3 p.m., Virginia Beach Blood Donation Center, 4554 Virginia Beach Blvd.

2/27/2018: 10 a.m. - 3 p.m., Tidewater Community College - Virginia Beach Campus, 1700 College Crescent

2/28/2018: 9 a.m. - 2 p.m., City of Virginia Beach Police, 2509 Princess Anne Road

2/28/2018: 2 p.m. - 7 p.m., Avalon Church of Christ, 844 Woodstock Road

York County

Tabb

2/22/2018: 2 p.m. - 7 p.m., Kirkwood Presbyterian Church, 1209 Hampton Highway

Yorktown

2/16/2018: 8 a.m. - 12 p.m., York County School Division, 302 Dare Road

North Carolina

Camden County

2/19/2018: 12 p.m. - 6 p.m., Camden United Methodist Church, 197 N Carolina 343

Edenton

2/20/2018: 1 p.m. - 7 p.m., Edenton Baptist Church, 200 South Granville Street

2/22/2018: 9 a.m. - 2 p.m., John A. Holmes High School, 702 North Broad Street

2/27/2018: 3 p.m. - 7 p.m., Macedonia Baptist Church, 1004 Macedonia Rd

Dare County

Buxton

2/20/2018: 10 a.m. - 4 p.m., Cape Hatteras Secondary School, 48576 Hwy 12

Kitty Hawk

2/21/2018: 12 p.m. - 6 p.m., Holy Redeemer Catholic Church, 301 West Kitty Hawk Road

Nags Head

2/26/2018: 10 a.m. - 2 p.m., The Outer Banks Hospital, 4800 South Croatan Highway

Pasquotank County

Elizabeth City

2/26/2018: 3 p.m. - 7 p.m., Newland Providence Ruritan Club, Hwy 158 at Morgans Corner

 

How to donate blood:

Simply download the American Red Cross Blood Donor App, visit redcrossblood.org or call 1-800-RED CROSS (1-800-733-2767) to make an appointment or for more information. All blood types are needed to ensure a reliable supply for patients. 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 in most states (16 with parental consent where allowed by state law), 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.

Blood and platelet donors can save time at their next donation by using RapidPass® to complete their pre-donation reading and health history questionnaire online, on the day of their donation, before arriving at the blood drive. To get started, follow the instructions at redcrossblood.org/RapidPass or use the Blood Donor App.

Volunteers needed

Another way to support the lifesaving mission of the American Red Cross is to become a volunteer transportation specialist and deliver lifesaving blood products to local area hospitals. Volunteer transportation specialists play a very important role in ensuring an ample blood supply for patients in need by transporting blood and blood products. For more information and to apply for a volunteer transportation specialist position, visit rdcrss.org/driver.

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 redcross.org or cruzrojaamericana.org, or visit us on Twitter at @RedCross.