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Red Cross appeals for blood donation as weather clears

Anne Arundel

On March 16, 2015

BALTIMORE – As severe winter weather begins to clear and it is considered safe to travel, the American Red Cross is asking all eligible blood and platelet donors to help replenish the blood supply.

Last week’s heavy snowfall cancelled all Red Cross blood collection operations at mobile drives and donation centers throughout the region causing more than 660 blood donations to go uncollected. This brings to 1,570 the total number of blood and platelet donations that have gone uncollected since the beginning of the year.

“It is the blood products already on the shelves that help save lives when severe weather hits and thanks to our generous Red Cross blood and platelet donors, blood products were available for patients who still needed transfusions despite the weather,” said Linda Voss, Chief Executive Officer for the Greater Chesapeake & Potomac Blood Services Region. “But the need for blood does not get a snow day, and we encourage the community to come forward and help replenish the blood supply when our operations are up and running again.”

Blood Donation Centers and Mobile blood drives will be operating on Friday and throughout the weekend.  Blood donors of all types – especially those with types O negative, B negative and A negative blood – and platelet donors are needed.

“Over the next few days we could see cancellations and low show rates at many of our blood drives and donor centers due to the weather,” said Steve Mavica, Communications Manager for the GC&P Region.  “When donation rates drop, the community blood supply can diminish quickly, so we need the support of the community to ensure that we collect enough blood over the next few days to meet patient need.”

Download the American Red Cross Blood Donor App, visit redcrossblood.org or call 1-800-RED CROSS  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 (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.

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