The American Red Cross is in urgent need of donors after several blood drives were canceled due to the severe winter weather.
Red Cross officials say they need blood and platelet donors in order to help restock their blood supply this February. The winter weather throughout January across the country forced the cancellation of about 770 blood drives, leading to more than 25,000 uncollected blood and platelet donations.
In just the past week alone, 25 blood drives were cancelled in Southeastern Pennsylvania and New Jersey.
“Blood products were distributed to hospitals as quickly as the donations came in,” said Anthony C. Tornetta, Communications Manager of the Red Cross Penn-Jersey Blood Services Region. “The extraordinary number of cancellations in January was the equivalent of the Red Cross having to shut down its national operations for more than an entire day.”
Red Cross officials say they must collect on average about 15,000 units of blood each day for patients at approximately 2700 hospitals and transfusion centers nationwide.
Red Cross officials are encouraging all donors with blood types O positive, O negative A negative and B negative.
To donate blood, call 1-800-RED CROSS (1-800-733-2767) or visit the Red Cross website for more information. Donors must have a blood donor card or driver’s license or two other forms of identification during a check-in. Donors must also be at least 17-years-of age(16 with parental consent in some states), weigh at least 110 pounds and be in generally good health.