Red Cross winter blood shortage at critical level

Wednesday, January 31, 2018

Winter weather, seasonal flu cause spike in canceled donations

Ongoing severe winter weather has more than doubled the number of canceled American Red Cross blood drives and the resulting blood donation shortfall since earlier this month.

The Red Cross now considers the situation critical and is reissuing an urgent call for blood donors. More than 550 blood drives have been forced to cancel due to winter weather in January, causing over 16,500 blood and platelet donations to go uncollected through last week.

The Red Cross will hold a blood drive at the Crowder College campus, Cassville, on Wednesday, Jan. 31, from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. All presenting donors will receive a T-shirt, while supplies last.

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 in most states (16 with parental consent where allowed by state law), 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.

Blood and platelet donors can save time at their next donation by using RapidPass® to complete their pre-donation reading and health history questionnaire online, on the day of their donation, before arriving at the blood drive. To get started, follow the instructions at redcrossblood.org/RapidPass or download and use the Blood Donor App.

Visit redcrossblood.org and enter Sponsor Code CCCASS, or call 1-800-RED CROSS (1-800-733-2767) to make an appointment or for more information.