Blood supplies dip low during holidays
Posted December 29, 2011
"What we find now, as we get into the holidays, we've got about a one-day supply," said Barry Porter, director of the Triangle Red Cross.
The number of blood donors usually drops significantly in December, as people go on vacation and schools and corporations hold fewer blood drives.
North Carolina's blood supplies also took a hit after a Dec. 22 wreck in Transylvania County. Treating the 15 wreck victims depleted supplies of O negative blood, the universal blood type which can be transfused to patients with any blood type.
The American Red Cross Carolinas, which provides blood to 103 hospitals, needs 1,600 people to give blood and platelets each weekday.
Rex Hospital in Raleigh is holding a blood drive Thursday to try to find some of those people.
Retiree Crystal Newton decided to donate blood for the first time in 20 years after reading about the Transylvania wreck last week.
"I'm retired and on Medicare, and this one way I can give back," Newton said.
The blood collected at Rex Thursday will go to eight hospitals in the Triangle and Fayetteville. Holiday blood donors needed
The drive runs 7 a.m.-5 p.m. Donors can sign up online or call 919-784-4776.
Blood donations can also be scheduled by calling the Red Cross at 1-800-733-2767.
Most healthy people age 17 or older – 16-year-olds need parental consent – who weigh at least 110 pounds can donate. Donors who are 18 and younger must also meet specific height and weight requirements.