Massive Winter Storm Is Causing Severe Blood Shortages, Red Cross Says

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Over 150 blood drives were canceled due to risky road conditions and power outages caused by the severe weather; those are now being rescheduled, according to Kara Lusk Dudley, a spokesperson for the Red Cross.

Christine Welch, communications manager for Red Cross blood donations, said there's often an urgent need for blood donors in holiday seasons and when schools are on winter break.

In addition to serving local hospitals, the American Red Cross moves blood products to where they are needed most.

"Blood can't be stockpiled", DeFrancis said.

"If you are eligible to, please consider donating at an upcoming blood drive or call the Red Cross to make an appointment", he added.

Welch said that another Battle of the Badges, which pits emergency service agencies against each other to see who can donate the most blood, would likely be scheduled for February to drum up public support for blood donation.

James-John W. Albrecht Medical Center will host an American Red Cross Blood Drive from 11 a.m.to 4 p.m. Friday, Feb. 9, in the ground-floor conference rooms, 2500 W. Reynolds St., Pontiac.

You can find a blood donor day near you by logging on
You can find a blood donor day near you by logging on

Blood donors can use RapidPass to complete pre-donation readings and health history questionnaires online at redcrossblood.org/rapidpass prior to the blood drive.

February 6 - 10:45 a.m. -5 p.m., Moose Lodge, 211 E 12th St.

Turlock Blood Donation Center, 655 E. Hawkeye Ave., 8 a.m. -4 p.m. Friday; 9 a.m. -4 p.m. Saturday; 11 a.m. -6 p.m. Thursday; and 9 a.m. -4 p.m. January 20.

Ottawa: Feb. 1 - 1:30 p.m. - 5:30 p.m., First Baptist Church, 1401 State St.

Since the launch of the Red Cross Home Fire Campaign in October 2014, the Red Cross New Jersey Region and partners have installed more than 25,000 free smoke alarms and have helped thousands of New Jersey families learn how to create a family fire escape plan. In November and December, blood drives fell short of the need by 28,000 donations.

"It comes to about 6,500 units blood and platelets that go uncollected", Gilbert said.

The annual Roll Up Your Sleeve blood drive is set for January 15 through January 19.

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