Severe weather cancels blood drives, leads to increased need

The American Red Cross is asking people in Central Washington to donate blood in response to potential shortages in the eastern United States.

January is historically known as national blood donor month and with severe winter weather there has been a tremendous impact on blood donations. More than 150 blood drives were forced to cancel because of it, causing over 5,500 blood and platelet donations to go uncollected.

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2, the blood center is only projected to receive 53 percent of its normal weekly donations in the coming week.

"The American Red Cross has to collect 13,000 pints of blood each and every day in order to supply the needs at thousands of hospitals. We have been doing this for decades at this sight and we are trying to respond to this need by allowing our employees to come up here at a convenient opportunity to donate 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 help save their lives. Still, all eligible donors are encouraged to participate. "The need for blood is constant no matter the weather or time of year".

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Individuals who are as young as 16 years of age (with parental consent), weigh at least 110 pounds and are in general good health may be eligible to donate blood, according to the release.

All blood types are needed to help ensure a sufficient blood supply is available for patients - especially platelet and type O negative and B negative donors.

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Types O negative and O positive blood are the most important due to their universal tendencies, the press release said.

  • Jermaine Castillo