Local News

Blood supplies dip low during holidays

Posted December 29, 2011

— A three-day blood supply is ideal, but Red Cross officials say levels are far lower across North Carolina this holiday season.

"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 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.


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  • ncspamfish Dec 29, 2011

    the red cross happens to be one of those organizations whose public pronouncements and statements i do not trust at all.

    low blood supply is right up there with ........the moon is made of cheese, government commentary about how they re here to help us, and obama's commitment to hope and change.....

    of course that last one is ha ha ha ha.........ad nauseum.

  • IAMAmerican Dec 29, 2011

    kevin4unc4: "It amazes me how the CEO of the Red Cross makes well over $500,000 a year. Disgusting. Look it up."

    It amazes me that you're that concerned with what the CEO of the Red Cross makes.

    It amazes me that it's even brought up in an article about Blood Supplies being low.............what difference does that make? If you don't like the fact that the CEO is overpaid go to Rex Healthcare and donate.

  • davidkrajewski Dec 29, 2011

    Last Thursday December 22nd I was donating blood at the North Raleigh collection site and atleast ten walk-ins were turned away because the site was under staffed.

  • cwood3 Dec 29, 2011

    Kevin-the American Red Cross is a huge organization. I would guess their nationwide budget is in the range of $150M-$200M per year. Do you want some $80K MBA running that organization??
    Or do you want someone with good executive experience??

    Your pot shot is duely noted-you don't like the Red Cross. Nor do you like a successful organization run by competent people!!

    In addition, I sure hope you don't need someone to do CPR or use an AED on you anytime soon. Sure hope you don't have someone in your family in the military that needs assistance from the Red Cross. Or-I hope another Floyd or Fran don't come to your community soon!!

    There is more to life than blood from the Red Cross.

  • baldy64 Dec 29, 2011

    Lift the ban on those who lived in Europe and you might have more blood donors. Being back in the U.S. for 20 years is long enough to realize we dont' have mad cow disease!

  • ItIsJustMe Dec 29, 2011

    can't donate blood until 12 months after you last tattoo right? -sabby06

    This is not necessarily true. If you have had a tattoo, they will ask where you got it, if the needles were sterile, etc. NC is on the list of states that have sufficent regulations on tattoo shops, so if you had it done locally at a respectable shop, you can still donate. I donated 6 times in the 12 months after I got my tattoo. Go ahead and make an appointment!

  • saturn5 Dec 29, 2011

    kevin4unc4: "It amazes me how the CEO of the Red Cross makes well over $500,000 a year. Disgusting. Look it up."

    It amazes me that you're that concerned with what the CEO of the Red Cross makes.

  • kevin4unc4 Dec 29, 2011

    It amazes me how the CEO of the Red Cross makes well over $500,000 a year. Disgusting. Look it up.

  • kevin4unc4 Dec 29, 2011

    I used to work for the city of rocky mount. We had blood drives every 56 days. I faithfully attented. I had an experience where the inexperienced personnel of the red cross kept digging into my arms looking for a vein. Its disturbing because when I go to the doctor to do a lab, they never have a problem. My most recent visit to the blood drive resulted in looking for veins in both arms and not finding any resulting in multiple bruising and swelling in one arm. I will never allow the red cross access to these veins again. Sorry, one time your fault, second time, my stupidity. No more blood from this turnip.

  • grassroots Dec 29, 2011

    The North Raleigh Blood Center is open until 7:00 M-Th and is also open two Saturdays of the month. The one off New Bern is open until 7:00 on Mondays & the one in Cary has both evening and weekend hours. More information can be foundon the Triangle Red Cross homepage.