Red Cross blood supply strained by winter storms and canceled blood drives

HUNTSVILLE, Ala. – The American Red Cross reissued the emergency call for blood and platelet donors to give. Multiple snowstorms, frigid temperatures, and the government shutdown reduced the number of lifesaving donations in supply.

More than 4,600 Red Cross blood and platelet donations went uncollected during January. Many blood drives forced to cancel due to severe winter weather and additional cancellations are expected. Weather travel advisories could lead to more delays on planned donations. The organization asks donors to make an appointment when roads are safe.

The federal government shutdown affected donations as well. Four percent of Red Cross blood collections are from drives sponsored by military and local, state and federal government agencies. Blood drives hosted by federal offices canceled across the country due to the shutdown, leaving more than 900 donations uncollected.

“Disruptions to blood and platelet donations jeopardize the availability of blood for patients who depend on transfusions for survival,” said Cliff Numark, senior vice president, Red Cross Biomedical Services. “We’re grateful for all those who have come out to give since we issued our emergency call earlier this month and now urge others to come out and give to prevent delays in essential medical care.”

Red Cross blood donations are distributed to hospitals faster than they are coming in. The organization has less than a three-day supply of most blood types on hand. The Red Cross strives to maintain a five-day supply of blood to meet the needs of patients and to be prepared for emergencies that require significant volumes of donated blood products.

All eligible donors, especially platelet donors and blood donors with type O blood, are urgently needed to help restock the shelves for hospital patients.

Donation appointments can be easily scheduled by using the free Blood Donor App, visiting RedCrossBlood.org or calling 1-800-RED CROSS (1-800-733-2767).

Upcoming blood donation opportunities in Alabama by county from January 29th to February 28th: 

Madison County –

Huntsville:

1/29/2019: 12:45 p.m. – 7:15 p.m., Huntsville Blood Donation Center, 1015 Airport Rd., SW

1/30/2019: 10:45 a.m. – 5:15 p.m., Huntsville Blood Donation Center, 1015 Airport Rd., SW

2/1/2019: 8:15 a.m. – 3:15 p.m., Huntsville Blood Donation Center, 1015 Airport Rd., SW

2/2/2019: 8:15 a.m. – 3:15 p.m., Huntsville Blood Donation Center, 1015 Airport Rd., SW

2/3/2019: 8:15 a.m. – 3:15 p.m., Huntsville Blood Donation Center, 1015 Airport Rd., SW

2/4/2019: 12:45 p.m. – 7:45 p.m., Huntsville Blood Donation Center, 1015 Airport Rd., SW

2/5/2019: 12:45 p.m. – 7:15 p.m., Huntsville Blood Donation Center, 1015 Airport Rd., SW

2/6/2019: 10:45 a.m. – 5:15 p.m., Huntsville Blood Donation Center, 1015 Airport Rd., SW

2/8/2019: 8:15 a.m. – 3:15 p.m., Huntsville Blood Donation Center, 1015 Airport Rd., SW

2/9/2019: 8:15 a.m. – 3:15 p.m., Huntsville Blood Donation Center, 1015 Airport Rd., SW

2/10/2019: 8:15 a.m. – 3:15 p.m., Huntsville Blood Donation Center, 1015 Airport Rd., SW

2/11/2019: 12:45 p.m. – 7:45 p.m., Huntsville Blood Donation Center, 1015 Airport Rd., SW

2/12/2019: 12:45 p.m. – 7:15 p.m., Huntsville Blood Donation Center, 1015 Airport Rd., SW

2/13/2019: 10:45 a.m. – 5:15 p.m., Huntsville Blood Donation Center, 1015 Airport Rd., SW

2/15/2019: 8:15 a.m. – 3:15 p.m., Huntsville Blood Donation Center, 1015 Airport Rd., SW

2/16/2019: 8:15 a.m. – 3:15 p.m., Huntsville Blood Donation Center, 1015 Airport Rd., SW

2/17/2019: 8:15 a.m. – 3:15 p.m., Huntsville Blood Donation Center, 1015 Airport Rd., SW

2/18/2019: 12:45 p.m. – 7:45 p.m., Huntsville Blood Donation Center, 1015 Airport Rd., SW

2/19/2019: 12:45 p.m. – 7:15 p.m., Huntsville Blood Donation Center, 1015 Airport Rd., SW

2/20/2019: 10:45 a.m. – 5:15 p.m., Huntsville Blood Donation Center, 1015 Airport Rd., SW

2/22/2019: 8:15 a.m. – 3:15 p.m., Huntsville Blood Donation Center, 1015 Airport Rd., SW

2/23/2019: 8:15 a.m. – 3:15 p.m., Huntsville Blood Donation Center, 1015 Airport Rd., SW

2/24/2019: 8:15 a.m. – 3:15 p.m., Huntsville Blood Donation Center, 1015 Airport Rd., SW

2/25/2019: 12:45 p.m. – 7:45 p.m., Huntsville Blood Donation Center, 1015 Airport Rd., SW

2/26/2019: 12:45 p.m. – 7:15 p.m., Huntsville Blood Donation Center, 1015 Airport Rd., SW

2/28/2019: 8:15 a.m. – 3:15 p.m., Huntsville Blood Donation Center, 1015 Airport Rd., SW

3/1/2019: 8:15 a.m. – 3:15 p.m., Huntsville Blood Donation Center, 1015 Airport Rd., SW

3/2/2019: 8:15 a.m. – 3:15 p.m., Huntsville Blood Donation Center, 1015 Airport Rd., SW

Madison:

2/16/2019: 9 a.m. – 2:00 p.m., St. John’s Catholic Church, 1055 Hughes Road

Lauderdale County –  

Lexington:

2/7/2019: 9:30 a.m. – 1:30 p.m., Lexington High School, 101 School St

De Kalb County –

Fort Payne:

2/8/2019: 2 p.m. – 6:00 p.m., Ruhama School Gym, 3371 County Road 81

Franklin County – 

Russellville:

2/12/2019: 8 a.m. – 2:00 p.m., Russellville High School, 1865 Waterloo Rd.

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