Winter storm deepens Red Cross blood shortage; blood and platelet donors needed now

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (AMERICAN RED CROSS) — The American Red Cross is urging eligible donors to give blood or platelets following the recent winter storm, which has compounded a severe winter blood shortage.

Icy roads over the weekend forced six blood drives to cancel in the Birmingham area, causing about 180 donations to go uncollected. Last month, nearly 100 blood drives were forced to cancel across the country due to severe weather, resulting in more than 3,100 blood donations going uncollected. Overall, hectic holiday schedules for many regular blood donors and weather contributed to about 37,000 fewer donations in November and December than what was needed.

“The need for blood doesn’t pause for severe weather – it’s constant,” said Nick Gehrig, communications director, Red Cross Blood Services. “Right now, blood and platelet donations are being distributed to hospitals faster than they are coming in. Eligible donors of all blood types are critically needed.”

How to help

Eligible donors can find a blood donation opportunity and schedule an appointment to donate by using the free Blood Donor App, visiting redcrossblood.org or calling 1-800-RED CROSS (1-800-733-2767). The Red Cross is extending hours at many donation sites for more donors to give blood or platelets. Overall, the Red Cross has added nearly 200 hours to blood donation centers and community blood drives across the country over the next few weeks. Donation appointments and completion of a RapidPass online health history questionnaire are encouraged to help speed up the donation process.

Who blood donations help

Every two seconds, someone in the U.S. needs blood. Accident and burn victims, heart surgery and organ transplant patients, and patients receiving treatment for leukemia, cancer or sickle cell disease may all require blood to save their lives.

Upcoming blood donation opportunities

1/9/2017: 12 – 6 p.m., Caldwell Trace Donor Center, 700 Caldwell Trace Birmingham
1/10/2017: 12 – 5 p.m., University Mall, 1701 McFarland Blvd. E Tuscaloosa
1/11/2017: 8:30 a.m. – 2 p.m., White Plains High School, 250 White Plains Road Anniston
1/11/2017: 10:30 a.m. – 4 p.m., UAB Medical Center – North Pavilion, 1802 6th Ave. S Birmingham
1/11/2017: 11 a.m. – 4 p.m., University of Alabama at Birmingham, 920 16th St. South Birmingham
1/12/2017: 10:30 a.m. – 4 p.m., UAB Medical Center – North Pavilion, 1802 6th Ave. S Birmingham
1/12/2017: 11 a.m. – 4 p.m., University of Alabama at Birmingham, 920 16th St. South Birmingham
1/12/2017: 10 a.m. – 3 p.m., Generations of Vernon Rehab Center, 1050 Convalescent Road Vernon
1/12/2017: 8 a.m. – 1 p.m., Randolph-Roanoke Career Technical Center, 960 Main St. South Wedowee
1/12/2017: 7:30 a.m. – 3 p.m., Caldwell Trace Donor Center, 700 Caldwell Trace Birmingham
1/13/2017: 10:30 a.m. – 4 p.m., UAB Medical Center – North Pavilion, 1802 6th Ave. S Birmingham
1/13/2017: 7:30 a.m. – 3 p.m., Caldwell Trace Donor Center, 700 Caldwell Trace Birmingham
1/13/2017: 11 a.m. – 4 p.m., Double Springs Municipal, 64 Main St. Double Springs
1/14/2017: 7:30 a.m. – 3 p.m., Caldwell Trace Donor Center, 700 Caldwell Trace Birmingham
1/15/2017: 8 a.m. – 1 p.m., Our Lady of Sorrows, 1728 Oxmoor Road Birmingham
1/16/2017: 10:30 a.m. – 4 p.m., UAB Medical Center – North Pavilion, 1802 6th Ave. S Birmingham
1/16/2017: 12 – 6 p.m., Caldwell Trace Donor Center, 700 Caldwell Trace Birmingham
1/17/2017: 7:30 a.m. – 1:30 p.m., Grandview Medical Center, 3690 Grandview Parkway Birmingham
1/17/2017: 10:30 a.m. – 4 p.m., UAB Medical Center – North Pavilion, 1802 6th Ave. S Birmingham
1/18/2017: 8 a.m. – 1 p.m., Hayden High School, 125 Atwood Road Hayden
1/18/2017: 10:30 a.m. – 4 p.m., UAB Medical Center – North Pavilion, 1802 6th Ave. S Birmingham
1/18/2017: 8 a.m. – 1 p.m., Gordo High School, 630 4th St. NW Gordo
1/19/2017: 10:30 a.m. – 4 p.m., UAB Medical Center – North Pavilion, 1802 6th Ave. S Birmingham
1/19/2017: 7:30 a.m. – 3 p.m., Caldwell Trace Donor Center, 700 Caldwell Trace Birmingham
1/20/2017: 11 a.m. – 4 p.m., Riverview Regional, 600 South 3rd St. Gadsden
1/20/2017: 10:30 a.m. – 4 p.m., UAB Medical Center – North Pavilion, 1802 6th Ave. S Birmingham
1/20/2017: 7:30 a.m. – 3 p.m., Caldwell Trace Donor Center, 700 Caldwell Trace Birmingham
1/20/2017: 10 a.m. – 3 p.m., Jasper Civic Center, 204 19th St. East Jasper
1/20/2017: 12 – 5 p.m., Arley Fire Department, 236 Helicon Road Arley
1/21/2017: 7:30 a.m. – 3 p.m., Caldwell Trace Donor Center, 700 Caldwell Trace Birmingham

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