Red Cross locations locally and nationally need blood donations after winter storm

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HAMPTON ROADS, Va. – The American Red Cross issued an urgent call for blood and platelet donations after the recent winter weather in January.

The storm that effected many parts of the country, including Hampton Roads and northeast North Carolina, had a tremendous impact on blood donations already this year.

More than 150 blood drives were forced to cancel causing over 5,500 blood and platelet donations to go uncollected. Donations are needed right now so that patients can continue to receive lifesaving treatments, according to the Red Cross.

In the Mid-Atlantic Blood Services Region, 45 blood drives were forced to cancel due to last week’s winter storm, causing nearly 600 donations to go uncollected.

“Even temporary disruptions to blood and platelet donations can diminish the availability for hospital patients,” said Berandette Jay of the Appalachian and Mid-Atlantic Red Cross Blood Services Region. “It’s the blood on the shelves that helps save lives in an emergency, and that’s why we’re asking eligible individuals to make an appointment to give blood or platelets today.”

While all blood types are urgently needed, there is a more critical need for the following blood and donation types right now:

  • Platelets: The clotting portion of blood primarily given to cancer patients during treatment and always in great demand.
  • Type O negative: The blood type that can be transfused to almost everyone and is what doctors reach for in trauma situations.
  • Type B negative: The blood type that can be transfused to type B Rh-positive and negative patients.
  • Type AB: The plasma type that can be transfused to almost everyone and can be donated through a platelet or plasma donation, where available, or during a regular blood donation.

 How to help:

Eligible donors can find a blood or platelet donation opportunity and schedule an appointment to donate by using the free Blood Donor App, visiting redcrossblood.org or calling 1-800-RED