Photo: Dreamstime

Brutal Weather Leaves American Red Cross Short On Blood, In Need Of Donations

The Red Cross is asking Michiganders to consider giving blood.

January 31, 2019 - 7:35 pm

WWJ -- Snow storms and brutally cold temperatures have gripped Michigan and a good portion of the country all week.

While many have been getting antsy for things to heat back up, the American Red Cross is asking for the public's help.

Todd Coleman, communications manager with the Red Cross in Michigan, says the weather has caused a shortage of blood and platelet donations across the country.

“Right now the American Red Cross has an emergency need for blood and platelet donors to give now so we can assure that life-saving treatments and emergency care are not delayed or canceled," Colemand told WWJ's Dr. Deanna Lites.

Coleman says the Red Cross has less than a three-day supply of most blood types on-hand. 

"Basically, the blood products are being distributed to hospitals faster than those donations are coming in," Coleman said. "To put that in perspective, the Red Cross strives to keep a five-day supply on-hand at all times to meet the needs of patients."

Coleman says the Red Cross has seen more than 12,500 donations go uncollected in the month of January due to blood drive cancelations and travel restrictions.

“We’re asking residents here to consider over the next few days to see if there’s a blood drive opportunity near them," Coleman said. "Take that one hour, make an appointment, roll up a sleeve and help save lives.”

There are many blood drives scheduled this weekend across the Metro Detroit area. 

Times and locations of blood drives can be found on the Red Cross website. Donors can also schedule appointments by calling 1-800-733-2767. For donor eligibility questions, call 866-236-3276.

The Red Cross also has a blood donor app.