Lower than expected blood donations impact blood supplies; immediate donations needed

Published 9:55 am Monday, January 16, 2012

HUNTINGTON, W.Va. — The American Red Cross is urging the public to donate blood now and in the upcoming weeks to help rebuild blood supplies. Lower than expected blood donor turnout since the beginning of the year has resulted in overall inventories being extremely low, with blood types O negative and O positive at critical levels.

“Winter is historically a challenging time to meet collections goals,” stated John Hagins, CEO of the Greater Alleghenies Blood Services Region. “We had our first cancellations due to weather last Friday, further impacting an already low blood supply and we expect there may be more to come. I am urging people in this area to make an immediate commitment to donate blood.” The blood services region needs over 900 blood donors every day, but has seen far fewer than that this month.

“Since the beginning of January, we have had a lower than expected donor turnout at the majority of our blood drives,” Hagins added. “We need to have enough people donating blood every day to help ensure we have enough blood and blood products on hand to supply hospitals with the blood they need to treat their patients.” Hagins stated that the region has only collected 58 percent of what they expected to this month, representing a shortfall of over 3,000 donations.

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Type O negative blood, the universal blood type, is always in high demand because it can be transfused to patients with any blood type, especially in emergency situations. Type O positive is the most common blood type.

The Red Cross is sponsoring blood drives at the following locations:


Wednesday, January 18

• Ashland, Ky.: 7 a.m. to 2 p.m., King’s Daughters Medical Center Health Education Center, 2201 Lexington Avenue

• Charleston, W.Va.: 12 to 6 p.m., American Red Cross Donor Center, 4501 MacCorkle Ave SE

• Huntington, W.Va.: 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., VA Medical Center-Rec Hall , 1540 Spring Valley Drive.