Severe winter weather has left blood supplies for many hospitals at critically low levels. Katie Marshall, spokesperson for the Midwest region of the Red Cross, says there’s an “emergency need” for blood donors.
“What we’re seeing at this point is that the blood that’s coming in is going out to hospitals just as quickly as donors can come in to give it,” Marshall said.
Blood supplies were already low at the start of the year because of the usual slowdown in donations around the holidays. But, supplies have been further depleted by winter storms. A handful of blood drives in Wisconsin are among the more than 300 blood drives that have been cancelled across 20 states since January 1.
Blood supplies have been hit especially hard by the blizzard that struck the East Coast. “Many blood drives have been cancelled for days on end, so that really takes a toll on the whole blood supply nationwide.”
Blood donation appointments can be scheduled by using the Red Cross Blood Donor App, visiting redcrossblood.org, or calling 1-800-RED CROSS.