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Winter weather creates emergency need for blood donations

Posted January 25

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— The winter weather that brought North Carolina to a halt over the weekend has also left the American Red Cross in emergency need of blood donations.

According to American Red Cross Regional CEO for North Carolina Barry Porter, nearly 50 blood drives were canceled in the Carolinas Red Cross Blood Services Region- which serves 89 counties in North Carolina as well as parts of South Carolina, Tennessee and Georgia- causing more than 2,300 blood and platelet donations to go uncollected.

“We’ve got this constant rolling inventory of supply. We get the blood in, we test and process it. Hospitals call us and tell us what their orders and needs are for the patients. We deliver it and it’s a constant process. You throw in a loss of three days’ worth of collections and you put the patient care at risk,” said Porter.

Each day in North Carolina, the Red Cross collects about 800 donations, Porter said.

Nationwide, severe winter weather since Jan. 1 has caused more than 300 blood drives to be canceled, resulting in more than 9,500 uncollected donations.

The Red Cross supplies about 40 percent of the blood supply across America and all of the blood supplied to local hospitals.

The Red Cross is in need of all blood types, but in order to donate a person must be at least 17 years of age, weigh 110 pounds and be in good health. A person cannot donate if they have given blood in the past 56 days.

Appointments for blood donations can be made online or by calling 1-800-733-2767.

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