Blood donations needed as winter storms cancels Red Cross blood drives

Blood donations needed as winter storms cancel events

RICHMOND, Va. (WWBT) - Winter weather is having major impacts, canceling not just COVID-19 vaccine events but also crucial blood drives.

The Red Cross of Virginia said their supply is running low, and with much of the nation in the same boat, hundreds of pints of blood are needed to make up for the losses.

“A significant number of our blood drives were canceled and that led to over 300 units that we would typically collect not being collected from the Red Cross,” said Red Cross Communication Director Johnathan McNamara.

McNamara says the state has been able to rely on bringing in blood from other parts of the country to help during this time, but because many parts of the country are dealing with significant weather challenges, the added strain is causing a ripple effect in the blood supply.

“Donating blood is going to be really critical because that’s going to help us meet those shortages that occurred from this storm and make sure our hospitals and partners still have what they need,” McNamara said.

The storm isn’t just affecting blood drive efforts. The Red Cross says they’ve been responding to more fires since the ice began falling a week ago. McNamara says the Red Cross is working with VDOT, the state and the Virginia Department of Emergency Management to deliver additional support.

”We, unfortunately, did see an increase in home fires after the last event, and that’s typical as people are turning to unorthodox methods to heat their home,“ McNamara said. “Generator usage is up and this has just required the Red Cross and many of those agencies to be nimble and flexible, but also be present in making sure that those individuals who did need help receive support not only from the Red Cross but other agencies in the community.”

When the weather clears up, McNamara says the Red Cross will be relying on every able-bodied person to donate blood. If you would like to schedule an appointment you can do so, HERE.

Copyright 2021 WWBT. All rights reserved.