Winter weather intensifying Red Cross blood crisis
Published 12:00 am Wednesday, February 16, 2022
As severe winter storms continue to move through the country, the American Red Cross asks members of the community to schedule the earliest-available blood donation appointments in their area once it is safe to give.
Dangerous snow and ice conditions have contributed to about 600 blood drive cancellations since the beginning of the year, resulting in nearly 17,500 uncollected blood and platelet donations
Since the Red Cross issued its first-ever blood crisis in January, thousands of generous donors have come forward to give, but patient care remains at risk. The threat of winter weather continues — as well as ongoing complications posed by the omicron variant — and could further complicate efforts to rebuild the blood supply.
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More donors are needed to make appointments now for the weeks ahead to help ensure accident victims, cancer patients and new mothers experiencing complicated childbirths have access to lifesaving blood product transfusions without delay. Make an appointment to give blood by using the Red Cross Blood Donor App, visiting RedCrossBlood.org or calling 1-800-733-2767.
All who come to give blood or platelets before Feb. 28 will receive a $10 Amazon.com Gift Card by email, thanks to Amazon.
Health insights for donors
At a time when health information has never been more important, the Red Cross is screening all blood, platelet and plasma donations from self-identified African American donors for the sickle cell trait. This additional screening will provide Black donors with an additional health insight and help the Red Cross identify compatible blood types more quickly to help patients with sickle cell disease.
Blood transfusion is an essential treatment for those with sickle cell disease, and blood donations from individuals of the same race, ethnicity and blood type have a unique ability to help patients fighting sickle cell disease.
Donors can expect to receive sickle cell trait screening results, if applicable, within one to two weeks through the Red Cross Blood Donor App and the online donor portal at RedCrossBlood.org.
Blood drive safety
Each Red Cross blood drive and donation center follows the highest standards of safety and infection control, and additional precautions —including face masks for donors and staff, regardless of vaccination status — have been implemented to help protect the health of all those in attendance. Donors are asked to schedule an appointment prior to arriving at the drive.