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Weather raises concerns for blood inventory

Officials of the Greater Alleghenies Region of American Red Cross Blood Services have raised concerns related to the impact of recent weather patterns seen across the country on the area’s blood supply.

“These winter storms have resulted in the loss of approximately one-third of the potential collections. This is an immediate concern to us,” said Lisa Hart, senior director of donor recruitment at the Red Cross.

“In recent days we have collected much fewer blood products than we had planned. We have had to cancel drives and that, coupled with the low donor turnout we are seeing at the existing drives, is an unfavorable mix affecting our blood inventory for hospitals.”

Currently, there is less than a day’s supply of O negative and B negative blood types, and less than a two-day supply of A negative.

For example, this means that if blood collections were to cease today, based on average hospital requests, the region would exhaust its O negative and B negative blood supplies by tomorrow.

Hart goes on to explain that it is imperative to do everything possible to make the blood drives in the next couple of days successful.

“We understand the weather can be unpredictable. The Red Cross will do everything possible to keep the blood drives on schedule and to secure sponsor groups willing to fill in for cancelled blood drives on short notice,” she comments, “we just ask that donors come out to support blood collection efforts in their communities.”

For blood donation opportunities in your community, to schedule an appointment to donate or to check on the status of a blood drive near you, please call 1-800-GIVE-LIFE or visit RedCrossBlood.org.