Red Cross Faces Blood Shortage

Donated blood for patients and hospitals

Donated blood for patients and hospitals

The American Red Cross blames the current blood shortage on winter weather conditions and looks for blood and platelet donors.

Ryan Edsall, account manager of donor recruitment for American Red Cross of North Central West Virginia, said more than 1,400 units of blood were lost between January 2 and January 10 in this region alone.

The Red Cross tries to prioritize locally, but can distribute blood to hospitals all over the country. "Any one pint can save up to three lives, since we can separate red blood cells from the platelets and the plasma, but there are times when people need many, many units just to have hope of survival". "It's the blood on the shelves that helps save lives in an emergency, and that's why we're asking eligible individuals to make an appointment to give blood or platelets today".

Many of those donating blood were regulars. RapidPass lets donors complete the pre-donation reading and answer the health history questionnaire online, on the day of their donation, by visiting redcrossblood.org/rapidpass from the convenience of a mobile device or computer, or through the Blood Donor App.

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People with type O and type B negative blood are especially asked to donate.

In a recent press release, Blood Assurance cited a crucial shortage in Type O positive blood, which is always much-needed, because it's the most common blood type.

Two blood drives are being held Sunday from noon until 5 p.m., at Patrick Henry Mall in Newport News and at Chesapeake Square Mall in Chesapeake.

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Annie Goshay, phlebotomist at the Wright-Patt Medical Center, prepares Airman 1st Class Hannah Donabauer for a blood donation.

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