Sunday, 21 January, 2018

Blood shortage following canceled drives in Hampton Roads

Williamsport Bureau of Fire and Red Cross Team Up to Hand Out Smoke Detectors American Red Cross reports blood shortages
Melissa Porter | 13 January, 2018, 08:18

Severe winter weather has had a large impact nationally, as more than 150 blood drives have been canceled across the country, causing 5,500 blood and platelet donations to go uncollected.

In the Mid-Atlantic Blood Services Region, Jay said that almost 600 fewer donations were given than needed during November and December. The American Red Cross wants your blood. Seasonal illnesses have also impacted blood donations by contributing to more than 28,000 fewer donations than were needed in November and December.

"In fact, 38 percent of people in the United States are actually eligible to donate at any given time, so if you can't donate, you're in the majority, and that's part of the reason why we need so many people to donate", he said.

In order to give blood, donors must complete a brief health history to check vitals and assure they don't have any restrictions due to medications, travel, lifestyle or other concerns, Edsall said. RapidPass can now be completed on mobile devices and through the Blood Donor App.

"Even temporary disruptions to blood and platelet donations can diminish the availability for hospital patients", said Clifford Numark, senior vice president, Red Cross Blood Services.

Welch said that Type O negative blood was the most needed because it can be transfused to nearly anyone and is commonly used in trauma situations. With more moderate temperatures in the forecast and a spike in blood utilization to treat trauma patients, officials at MVRBC urge all eligible donors to help the blood supply recover by scheduling an appointment to donate in the coming days.

Donors with Type B negative or Type AB were still encouraged to donate, she said. According to a recent report from Kingsport Times-News, they hold about 650 blood drives at local schools and businesses each year to meet this demand.