Red Cross Has Urgent Need for Local Blood Donations

American Red Cross  The snow, freezing rain and extreme cold of the last few weeks did more than just wreak havoc with school schedules.

The weather also canceled more than 200 blood drives in the Washington, D.C., area, causing the American Red Cross to be dangerously low on blood and platelet supplies.

The Red Cross says the 200 canceled blood drives resulted in nearly 7,000 uncollected blood and platelet donations. There were also more than 26,400 uncollected blood and platelet donations in February due to severe weather across 27 states, says the Red Cross.

“Blood products are being delivered to hospitals almost as quickly as they come in,” Steve Mavica, Communications Manager for the Greater Chesapeake and Potomac Blood Services Region, said in a news release. “Donors who give now aren’t just restocking our shelves, they are making sure hope continues to be available for patients in need.”

From the Red Cross:

The Red Cross urges donors of all blood types to make and keep appointments to help restock its shelves. Platelet donors, as well as blood donors with the most in-demand blood types — O negative, A negative and B negative — are particularly encouraged to give in the days and weeks to come to help replenish the blood supply.

Platelets help prevent massive blood loss and are a vital part of cancer and organ transplant treatments. With a shelf life of just five days, platelet donations are especially needed. Eligible donors with types O negative, A negative and B negative blood are encouraged to donate double red cells where available. During a double red cell donation, two units of red cells are collected while most of the plasma and platelets are returned to the donor.

Here are some places in Reston to donate this week and next:

  • Friday, March 13, 8 a.m. to 1:30 p.m., U.S. Geological Survey, 12201 Sunrise Valley Dr.
  • Saturday, March 14, 8 a.m. to 12:30 p.m., St John Neumann Catholic Church, 11900 Lawyers Rd.
  • Wednesday, March 18, 10 a.m. to 3 p.m., Reston Regional Library, 11925 Bowman Towne Dr.
  • Thursday, March 19, 9 a.m. to 2:30 p.m., Plaza America, 11730 Plaza America Dr.

You can also find a donation opportunity and schedule an appointment by visiting redcrossblood.org or call 1-800-RED CROSS (1-800-733-2767).

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