[January 11, 2014]PEORIA — As severe winter
weather begins to subside, the American Red Cross is asking all
eligible blood and platelet donors to help offset a weather-related
shortfall in donations.
Approximately 280 blood drives across 25 states were canceled across
the U.S. due to snow and extreme cold. The blood drive cancellations
resulted in a shortfall of nearly 8,400 blood and platelet donations
since Jan. 2.
"It's the blood products already on the shelves that help save
lives when severe weather hits," said Shelly Heiden, community CEO
of the Red Cross Heart of America Blood Services Region. "Thanks to
generous Red Cross blood and platelet donors, blood products were
available for patients who still needed transfusions despite the
weather. Now we invite those previously 'frozen out' from giving
blood or platelets to come in soon."
Platelet donors, as well as blood donors with the most in-demand
blood types — O-positive and negative, A-negative, and B-negative —
are urgently needed to give blood in the days and weeks ahead to
offset the shortfall.
Platelets, a key clotting component of blood often needed by
cancer patients, must be transfused within five days of donation, so
donations are constantly needed. Red blood cells, the
oxygen-carrying component of blood, are the most widely transfused
blood product and must be transfused within 42 days.
Upcoming blood donation opportunity in Logan County:
Jan. 15, from noon to 5 p.m. at Lincoln Park District sports
complex, 1400 Primm Road
Simply call 1-800-RED CROSS (1-800-733-2767) or visit
www.redcrossblood.org to make an appointment or for more
information. A blood donor card or driver's license or two other
forms of identification are required at check-in. Individuals who
are 17 years of age (16 with parental consent in some states), weigh
at least 110 pounds and are in generally good health may be eligible
to donate blood. High school students and other donors 18 years of
age and younger also have to meet certain height and weight
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 international humanitarian aid; and supports military members and
their families. The Red Cross is a not-for-profit organization that
depends on volunteers and the generosity of the American public to
perform its mission. For more information, visit
visit on Twitter at @RedCross.