The American Red Cross recently issued a national blood appeal, but the severe storms in the Midwest and mid-Atlantic areas may severely impact the ability to build the blood inventory back up to sufficient levels in many locations.
Power outages, fallen trees and other storm impacts mean that blood donors have been unable to get to blood donation centers and blood drives. Dozens of Red Cross blood drives have been cancelled, resulting in the shortfall of nearly 1,700 units of blood and platelets.
The Red Cross is calling on all eligible blood donors – now more than ever – to roll up a sleeve and give as soon as possible. All blood types are needed, but especially O positive, O negative, B negative and A negative in order to meet patient demand this summer.
The next local blood donation opportunity is July 19 from 12 noon until 6 p.m. at the Lions Club Building on West Adams St. in Woodbury.
Thousands of blood donations are needed each and every day to meet the needs of hospital patients. Blood and platelets are needed for many different reasons, including accident and burn victims, heart surgery patients, organ transplant patients, premature babies – when there are complications during childbirth – and for patients receiving treatment for leukemia, cancer or sickle cell disease.
“Every day, the Tennessee Valley Blood Services Region must collect approximately 600 pints for patients at about 60 hospitals and transfusion centers across the region,” said Tim Ryerson chief executive officer of the American Red Cross Tennessee Valley Blood Services Region. “We need donors to make appointments in the coming days and weeks to help us ensure that all patient blood needs can be met. Each pint of whole blood can help save more than one life.”
“The American Red Cross continues to operate 24 hours a day, 7 days a week to best meet hospital patients’ needs,” Ryerson added. “We are closely monitoring inventory levels at all distribution sites, and working with hospitals to triage and transfer products as needed to ensure patient needs are met."
Call 1-800-RED CROSS (1-800-733-2767) or visit redcrossblood.org to make an appointment or for more information. 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 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 other donors 18 years of age and younger also have to meet certain height and weight requirements.