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.