Cleveland, OH - The morning began with five cancelled blood drives leading to a loss of at least 200 pints of blood that are no longer available for patients.
The American Red Cross Northern Ohio Blood Services Region fears that other drives may cancel during the day or that people will decide not to donate because of the winter storms. "While we do not want anyone to jeopardize themselves in inclement weather traveling to a blood drive, that makes it all the more urgent for those who are able to get to a blood drive to do so," states Karen Kelley, Communications and Marketing Manager.
Six blood types are below minimum inventory standard today and will be dangerously depleted if the Red Cross cannot collect as much blood as possible, particularly with the knowledge that the inventory has already fallen short. With winter storms to continue for the next few days, more scheduled blood drives are predicted to cancel.
The Northern Ohio Region must collect at least 900 pints of blood each day to meet the needs of patients in 57 local hospitals. Donations of all blood types are needed immediately and the Red Cross is urging all who can donate blood, to do so as soon as possible. Blood donors must be at least 17 years old, weigh at least 110 pounds, be in general good health and provide a valid photo ID. Donors may safely give whole blood every 56 days.