Blood banks see drop in supply due to winter weatherWORTHINGTON — Both the American Red Cross and the Community Blood Bank are reporting a drop in blood supplies due to severe weather problems, according to information released by both entities this week.
WORTHINGTON — Both the American Red Cross and the Community Blood Bank are reporting a drop in blood supplies due to severe weather problems, according to information released by both entities this week.
“We have seen a decrease in blood donations of 20 percent, primarily due to weather-related problems,” stated Ken Versteeg, executive director of the Community Blood Bank (CBB). “During the first few weeks of January we had to cancel many blood drives due to poor weather conditions. We have not been able to catch up with demand.”
Dave Kelley, donor recruitment representative of the Mid-America Blood Services Division of the American Red Cross (ARC), said winter storms cancelled drives across the Southwest and East Coast in the U.S.
“(Our North Central region) is being asked to help these areas…,” Kelley said. “Our commitment is supplying local hospitals in Minnesota, but there are times when we are called upon to help out other parts of the country. With all the collection losses due to weather and the increased need for O-negative, inventory levels for O-negative are approaching emergency status in areas of the division.”
According to the ARC, the blood supply has not dropped this dramatically in over a decade after more than 14,000 blood and platelet donations were cancelled since January 1.
O-negative is a universal blood type, which can go to any patient regardless of their own type. O-negative is often used in emergency cases when doctors can’t wait to type a patient’s blood, the ARC stated.
“We are hoping that community members will come out to this blood drive to help improve the overall supply of blood for Sanford Regional Hospital Worthington,” Versteeg stated.
Donors must be at least 17 years old — 16 years old with a parental consent form — weigh 110 pounds or more and be in good general health the day of the donation. It is recommended you eat and drink plenty of fluids before donating blood.
There are a number of blood drives coming up this week in area communities:
* From 2 to 7 p.m. Monday in Round Lake at the American Legion, ARC
* From 1:30 to 6:30 p.m. Tuesday in Windom at the Community Center, ARC
* From 2 to 7 p.m. Tuesday in Lismore at the American Legion, ARC
* From 2 to 7 p.m. Wednesday in Adrian at the Adrian High School
* From 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. and 3 p.m. to 6 p.m. Thursday in Worthington at Sanford Regional Hospital Worthington
* From 1 to 7 p.m. Thursday in Worthington at the Christian Church
* From 1 to 7 p.m. Friday in Worthington at the Christian Church