The American Red Cross Southern Blood Services Region reports that inclement weather over the past few days has resulted in more than 2,600 units of blood and platelets that could not be collected due to blood donation center closures, cancelled blood drives and the inability of donors to attend blood drives. 

Red Cross Blood Regions in the southeast reported that more than 6,000 blood donations could not be collected due to the storm which paralyzed the South. In the northeast, Red Cross Blood Regions reported that nearly 2,000 blood donations were not collected Wednesday as the snow was still falling.

“The result of the cancellation of that many blood drives and consequently all those blood donations translates into as many as 24,000 blood products that we now do not have available for patients who may need them,” said Chris Hrouda, executive vice president, Red Cross Biomedical Services. “We are asking anyone in these areas who is eligible to give blood to please consider making an appointment to donate as soon as it is safe to do so.”

Donors are encouraged to donate as soon as possible.  There is a particular need for people with O-negative blood to give now. O-negative is the universal blood type which can go to any patient regardless of their blood type. O-negative blood is often used in emergency cases when doctors can’t wait to type a patient’s blood.

In an effort to help replenish blood and platelets that were unable to be collected due to the storm, the American Red Cross Southern Blood Services Region will offer extended hours this weekend at all of its blood donation centers across the state.