The American Red Cross Southern Blood Services Region reports that inclement weather over the last weeks has resulted in more than 2,600 units of blood and platelets that could not be collected due to blood donation center closures, cancelled blood drives and the inability of donors to attend blood drives.
Red Cross Blood Regions in the Southeast reported that more than 6,000 blood donations could not be collected due to the storm which paralyzed the South.
“The result of the cancellation of that many blood drives and consequently all those blood donations translates into as many as 24,000 blood products that we now do not have available for patients who may need them,”# said Chris Hrouda, executive vice president, Red Cross Biomedical Services. “We are asking anyone in these areas who is eligible to give blood to please consider making an appointment to donate.”#
There is a particular need for people with O-negative blood. O-negative is the universal blood type which can go to any patient regardless of their blood type. O-negative blood is often used in emergency cases when doctors can”t wait to type a patient”s blood.
Gwinnett County American Red Cross Blood Donation Center is located at 3090 Premiere Parkway in Duluth.
The American Red Cross Southern Blood Services Region provides lifesaving blood to more than 120 hospitals and must have 1,200 people give blood and platelets each weekday to meet hospital demand. Blood can be safely donated every 56 days. Platelets can be given safely every two weeks, up to 24 times a year.
Most healthy people age 17 and older, or 16 with parental consent, who weigh at least 110 pounds, are eligible to donate blood and platelets. Donors who are 18 and younger must also meet specific height and weight requirements.
For more information or to find a blood donation opportunity near you, please call 1-800-RED CROSS or visit redcrossblood.org.