Friday, December 31, 2010

Severe Winter Storm Impacts Blood Collections

The severe winter storm causing hazardous snow conditions in the Northeast is impacting American Red Cross blood collection efforts across New England. Approximately 780 units of blood are likely to be uncollected due to blood drive closures and low turnout at drives that were able to run. The current weather and cancellations comes at a challenging time to collect blood, as donations typically decline during the winter holiday season.
All blood types are needed. Type O-negative blood donors are especially needed as the inventory has dropped to critical levels. O-Negative blood is the universal blood type. It can be transfused to anyone and is often used in emergency situations when there is no time to obtain the patient’s blood type. Since Type O-negative blood can be used for all patients in need, it is critical that there is a sufficient supply.
The American Red Cross needs the help of all who are eligible to donate blood to please make an appointment to donate now to help ensure blood is available for patients. Also, the Red Cross urges all those who were unable to keep their appointments due to weather conditions to please reschedule. The only source of blood is a generous, volunteer blood donor.
In the U.S., someone needs blood every two seconds. Every day, the Northeast Division must collect approximately 3,000 units of blood just to meet the basic needs of patients.
Individuals who are at least 17 years of age (16 with parental permission in some states), 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.
All presenting donors in Maine will receive a buy one get one ski pass to either Shawnee Peak or Mt. Abram. Prizes are non-transferable and not redeemable for cash. To schedule an appointment or to sponsor a blood drive, please call 1-800-RED CROSS (1-800-733-2767) or visit today.