The American Red Cross has announced an emergency call for blood and platelet donations today following a severe winter blood shortage. Eligible donors are being asked to schedule an appointment to give blood.
Currently, Red Cross blood products are being supplied to hospitals at a faster rate than they are being donated. There were about 37,000 fewer donations in November and December than what was needed. With close to 100 blood drives forced cancel due to severe weather, over 3,100 blood donations went uncollected. Many donation centers and community blood drive have extended their hours over the next few weeks.
Close to 14,000 blood and platelet donations must be collected daily for patients across 2,600 hospitals and transfusion centers across the country. Platelets, which must be transfused within 5 days of donation, are constantly in high demand.
Donors can schedule an appointment via the Red Cross Blood Donor app, the website, or by calling 1-800-REDCROSS. Eligible donors must be 17 years of age in most states (16 with parental consent where allowed), weigh ≥110lb, and be in generally good health. Those who are in high school or other donors aged <18 years must meet certain height and weight requirements.
For more information call (800) 733-2767 or visit redcrossblood.org.