Published: Fri, January 12, 2018
Medicine | By Brett Sutton

American Red Cross reports blood shortages

American Red Cross reports blood shortages

Bernadette Jay, the External Communications Manager with American Red Cross, says the agency tries to keep a five-day supply of blood on hand. Blood drives all over our area were cancelled when the winter weather hit last week and that left the region's blood supply in trouble.

The Red Cross must collect more than 13,000 blood donations every day for patients at hospitals across the country.

1 in 4 people who enter the hospital actually need a blood transfusion and many patients need blood on a regular basis.

Since the launch of the Red Cross Home Fire Campaign in October 2014, the Red Cross New Jersey Region and partners have installed more than 25,000 free smoke alarms and have helped thousands of New Jersey families learn how to create a family fire escape plan.

While all blood types are needed, platelets and blood types O negative, B negative and AB are especially needed.

The Red Cross made a number of urgent calls for blood a year ago after donations fell short, leaving some regions with less than a one-day supply. This is in addition to seasonal illnesses, such as the flu, and hectic holiday schedules collectively contributing to more than 28,000 fewer donations than what was needed in November and December.

The only requirements to donate blood are a minimum age of 17, good health and a minimum donor weight of 110 pounds.

The timing is critical and the need is clear.

The annual Roll Up Your Sleeve blood drive is set for January 15 through January 19.

Sallie Coron, the coordinator of blood collections for the U.P. Regional Blood Center has reported a steady amount of donations for the month so far.

February 6 - 10:45 a.m. -5 p.m., Moose Lodge, 211 E 12th St.

January 17, from noon to 5 Mary Baldwin University, Student Activities Center, 316 Academy St., Staunton.

Peru: Jan. 16 - noon-5:30 p.m., Zion United Church of Christ, 1521 Sixth St.

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