Cold snap freezes up blood donations

Jan. 09, 2014 @ 02:42 PM

One impact from the cold wave here and across the nation could have dire implications for patients in need of medical assistance during an emergency.

The local chapter of the American Red Cross is urging people to donate blood because regular supplies have been disrupted from the extreme cold earlier this week. The weather prevented many donors from venturing out to blood donation centers.
“Approximately 300 blood drives across 25 states were canceled across the U.S. due to snow and extreme cold. The blood drive cancellations resulted in a shortfall of nearly 8,800 blood and platelet donations since Jan. 2,” according to the Greater High Point-Davidson County chapter of the Red Cross.
In North Carolina, severe winter weather forced the cancellation of six Red Cross blood drives, resulting in about 200 fewer than expected blood and platelet donations during the past three days, the Red Cross reports.
In High Point, volunteers at Emerywood Baptist Church helped address the shortage by donating blood during a drive there this afternoon. The Red Cross will hold another drive from 7 a.m.-4:30 p.m. Friday at High Point Regional Hospital at 601 N. Elm St.
The blood drive will be in the cafeteria area of the medical center. Anyone wishing to donate must bring a photo identification, a High Point Regional Health System spokeswoman said.
For more information about other upcoming drives or to donate, call the local Red Cross chapter at 885-9121.
“It’s the blood products already on the shelves that help save lives when severe weather hits,” said Steve Maness, vice president of the Red Cross Southeast Blood Services Division.
The Red Cross reports that, on average, the agency needs to collect about 15,000 pints of blood daily for patients at approximately 2,700 hospitals and transfusion centers across the nation.

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