The Register-Herald, Beckley, West Virginia

Local News

January 9, 2014

Red Cross blood drives lost in cold

Approximately 280 blood drives across 25 states were canceled due to the snow and extreme cold, according to a release from the American Red Cross.

The Red Cross is urging all eligible blood and platelet donors to help offset the shortfall in donations.

The most in-demand blood types are O positive and negative, A negative and B negative, all of which are needed to help replenish the blood and platelet supply.

Paige Gambill, CEO of the American Red Cross Mid-Atlantic and Appalachian Blood Services Region, said the blood products already on the shelves helped save lives during the winter weather.

“Thanks to generous Red Cross blood and platelet donors, blood products were available for patients who still needed transfusions despite the weather,” Gambill said. “Now we invite those previously ‘frozen out’ from giving blood or platelets to come in soon.”

Platelets are a key clotting component of blood, often needed by cancer patients, and must be transfused within five days of donation, so donations are needed constantly. Red blood cells, the oxygen carrying component of blood, are the most widely transfused blood product and must be transfused within 42 days.

To donate, call 1-800-RED-CROSS (1-800-733-2767) or visit redcrossblood.org to make an appointment or find out more.

— E-mail: wholdren@register-herald.com

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