Published: Fri, January 12, 2018
Medical | By Johnnie Horton

Blood shortage following canceled drives in Hampton Roads

Blood shortage following canceled drives in Hampton Roads

Folks at LifeSouth Community Blood Center said donations tend to drop during the winter due to people traveling from the holidays as well as the weather.

The timing is critical and the need is clear.

You can make an appointment to donate blood and help save a life. Seasonal illnesses have also impacted blood donations by contributing to more than 28,000 fewer donations than were needed in November and December.

The American Red Cross shelters, feeds and provides emotional support to victims of disasters; supplies about 40 percent of the nation's blood; teaches skills that save lives; provides worldwide humanitarian aid; and supports military members and their families.

All blood types are in need and the American Red Cross is asking those who were planning to donate, have not donated in a while or would be willing to donate to make an appointment or attend a blood drive.

O-negative blood is considered the universal donor and can be given to any patient in need, while B-negative blood blood can be transfused to B positive and negative donors.

The American Red Cross has an urgent need for blood and platelet donors of all blood types.

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Road conditions and too much snow also forces them to close for the safety of donors.

"It comes to about 6,500 units blood and platelets that go uncollected", Gilbert said. But storms across the western part of the state have set back donations. Because the procedure does not significantly reducie a donor's total blood volume, and because it takes only three days for the body to replace the platelets, it is possible to donate platelets as often as every three days.

- Tuesday, Jan. 16 - The First Baptist Church of Shinnston is hosting a blood drive from 1:30 p.m.to 6 p.m.

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

- Thursday, Jan. 18 - Four Horsemen Comics at the Meadowbrook Mall is hosting a blood drive from 12:30 to 5 p.m.

Getting more from other blood centers in other parts of the country was also more hard due to canceled flights; blood is typically delivered by FedEx and UPS aircraft.

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