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The original item was published from 1/29/2016 2:59:02 PM to 3/2/2016 12:00:07 AM.

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Posted on: January 29, 2016

[ARCHIVED] Critical Need for Blood Donations After Storms

American Red Cross Shortage

The American Red Cross (ARC) reports an emergency need for blood donations after the massive winter storm that swept across the eastern part of the country last week worsened an already-low supply. Winter weather the beginning of January forced over 300 blood drive cancelations, the result being an estimated 9,500 donations going uncollected. This most recent storm forced the cancelation of even more.

Tornadoes and even mass shootings bring donors out in droves in an effort to help the community recover. The September 11th attacks brought twice the average number of donations in a week, prompting the Red Cross to freeze the supply to prevent waste. But shortage problems like the current one are more common and hit from two directions – while some events are canceled, those that are still being held have low turnout because people are unwilling or unable to trek out in the cold and snow.

You can help lessen the shortage even if you are not in the area affected:
-Donate blood – find a scheduled blood drive on the ARC website;
-Host a blood drive – learn how to host a successful drive and schedule it with the ARC;
-Host a competition – what group will donate the most in your community? It can be between schools, civic groups, or first responder agencies. Be sure to publicize it and make it fun.

Having such a low blood supply affects hospital scheduling and forces hospitals to only use it for trauma cases. While blood can be moved around the country to areas in need, such a critically-low supply can threaten lives if a mass casualty incident were to happen. Ensuring a consistent blood supply regionally is something worth working toward.

American Red Cross website
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