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Winter weather cripples Red Cross blood donations

 

 

The American Red Cross is seeking help after severe winter weather resulted in the cancellation of 600 blood drives nationwide.

According to the Red Cross South Carolina Blood Ser­vices Region, winter storms and freezing temperatures have forced it to cancel 26 services in the area, resulting in about 1,200 fewer donations than expected over the past several days.

“It’s the blood products already on the shelves that help save lives when severe weather hits,” said Ryan Cor­coran, the community CEO of the Red Cross region. “Thanks to generous Red Cross blood and platelet donors, blood products were available for patients who still needed transfusions despite the weather. Now we invite those previously ‘frozen out’ from giving blood or platelets to come in soon.”

The Red Cross is asking for platelet donors and donors with the most in-demand blood types – O-positive and negative, A-negative and B-negative – to give in the coming days to help offset the shortfall caused by winter weather.

According to the statement, platelets, “a key clotting component of blood often needed by cancer patients,” must be transfused within five days of donation, adding to the urgency. Red blood cells, the most widely transfused blood product, must be transfused within 42 days.

WHERE TO DONATE

• Thursday from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. at Aiken Regional Hospital; 302 University Parkway, Aiken

• Feb. 12 from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. at W.E. Parker Elementary; 41 Crest Road, Edgefield

• Feb. 14 from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. at Silver Bluff High School; 64 Desota Drive, Aiken

• Feb. 14 from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. at Georgia Regents University; 2500 Walton Way, Augusta

• Feb. 21 from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. at Ridge Spring-Monetta High School; 10 J.P. Kneece Drive, Monetta

• Feb. 26 from 2 p.m. to
7 p.m. at Aiken Mall, 2441 Whiskey Road, Aiken

MORE INFORMATION:

• Donors must bring a blood donor card, driver’s license or two other forms of identification to check in.

• Eligible donors must be at least 17 (16 with parental consent in some states), weigh at least 110 pounds and be in good health.

• High school students and other donors 18 and younger also have to meet certain height and weight requirements.

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