The start of January brought an arctic blast to the entire country with temperatures plummeting well below zero. The cold and winter storms caused the cancelation of many activities across states, including the Red Cross Blood Drives. Over 50 blood drives in Oregon alone were canceled during the ice and winter storms! But numerous states had 5-10 cancellations of blood drives since the beginning of January.
The American Red Cross is facing the lowest number of people giving blood in 20 years and is in a critical shortage. Now, according to the Red Cross, "[an] additional 8,000 blood donations each week over the next few weeks to recover from the current blood shortage." The Red Cross says that "even small disruptions to blood donations – like the recent winter storms – can have a huge effect on the availability of blood products."
If you are eligible to donate, you can make an appointment on RedCrossBlood.org or calling 1-800-RED CROSS (1-800-733-2767). The Red Cross says that, "Donors in areas unaffected by severe weather are vital to ensuring those in need of transfusions have access to lifesaving care across the Red Cross network."
All blood types are needed but especially Type O which is needed for critical blood transfusions.