Red Cross urges blood donations following post-storm shortfall in Northeast

By WBNG News

Red Cross urges blood donations following post-storm shortfall in Northeast

February 26, 2013 Updated Feb 26, 2013 at 11:44 AM EST

(WBNG Binghamton) Harsh winter weather has eased up locally for now, and the American Red Cross is encouraging eligible donors to give blood or platelets to help offset a  shortfall in donations recently caused by a powerful nor’easter.

According to a news release:

That severe winter storm forced the cancellation of more than 150 Red Cross blood drives and more than 6,900 blood and platelet donations.

“Despite the winter storms, hospital patient care must continue,” said Donna M. Morrissey, communications director for the Red Cross Northeast Blood Services Division. “For some patients, the need for blood is sudden. For others, ongoing transfusions are needed as part of lifesaving medical treatment. In all cases, the only source is a caring volunteer donor. The Red Cross is asking eligible blood donors to make an appointment to give blood to help make up the significant shortfall.”

The Northeast is currently experiencing a break in winter weather, but more storms are on the horizon later this week. The Red Cross encourages eligible donors to give blood while it is safe to travel, helping ensure patients’ needs continue to be met.

Blood is used for a wide variety of life-threatening conditions, including surgical procedures, bone marrow transplants, trauma, patients undergoing chemotherapy, premature births and more. Despite all medical advances, there is still no substitute for blood.

All blood types are needed, especially types O negative, A negative and B negative. Platelets are also needed, as they have a shelf life of just five days and must be replenished regularly.