A donation shortfall over the winter holidays is prompting the American Red Cross to issue an emergency call for blood platelet donors to give now to prevent a blood shortage from continuing throughout winter and affecting patient care.
The Red Cross collected over 27,000 fewer blood and platelet donations the weeks of Christmas and New Year’s than needed to sustain a sufficient blood supply. During this period, about 1,350 fewer blood drives were hosted by volunteer sponsor groups than required to meet patient needs as busy holiday schedules kept many donors away.
“Many people may not realize that blood products are perishable, and the only source of lifesaving blood for patients is volunteer blood donors,” Cliff Numark, senior vice president, Red Cross Biomedical Services said. “When donations decline – as they did around the holidays and may further decline if severe winter weather and flu season pick up – lifesaving medical treatments could be delayed.”
Right now, the Red Cross has less than a three-day supply of most blood types on hand, well below the ideal five-day supply needed to respond to emergencies and daily hospital needs. Blood products are currently being distributed to hospitals faster than donations are coming in.
All eligible donors, especially platelet donors and blood donors with type O blood, are urged to make an appointment to give in the coming days to help restock the shelves for hospital patients. Eligible donors can find a blood or platelet donation opportunity and schedule an appointment to donate by using the free Blood Donor App, visiting RedCrossBlood.org or calling 1-800-RED CROSS (1-800-733-2767).
poses risk to blood supply
With several weeks of winter ahead, severe winter weather poses an additional threat to an already low blood supply. Snow, ice and extreme temperatures last January and February forced hundreds of blood drive cancellations, causing about 23,000 blood and platelet donations to go uncollected. In December, winter weather resulted in nearly twice the number of uncollected blood and platelet donations as December 2017
Upcoming blood donation opportunities
Jan. 21: 10:30 a.m. - 3:30 p.m., Saint Paul’s Church, 1807 Bedford St.
Jan. 22: 10 a.m. - 4 p.m., Rome Memorial Hospital, 1500 N. James St.
Jan. 24: 10 a.m. - 3 p.m., Berkshire Bank, 100 W. Dominick St.
Jan. 25: 10 a.m. - 3 p.m., St John’s Lutheran Church, 502 W. Chestnut St.
Feb. 5: 10 a.m. - 3 p.m., Mohawk Valley Community College, 1101 Floyd Ave.
Utica Blood Donation Center
4685 Commercial Drive
New Hartford, NY 13413
Mondays and Wednesdays: 11:30 a.m.-7:30 p.m.
Tuesdays, Thursday-Sunday: 7 a.m.- 3 p.m.
Rest of Oneida County
Blossvale: Jan. 15, 2 - 6 p.m., Vienna Seventh-day Adventist Church, 7812 Route 13.
Boonville: Feb. 15, 1 - 6 p.m., Harland J Hennessey Veterans of Foreign Wars, 108 Park Avenue
Clinton: Feb. 1, 8:30 a.m. - 5:30 p.m., Hamilton College Fitness Center, 198 College Hill Road
New Hartford: Feb. 4, 11:30 a.m. - 4:30 p.m., Boscov’s, 8555 Seneca Turnpike; Feb. 14: 10 a.m. - 3 p.m., Presbyterian Home, 4290 Middle Settlement Road
Sherrill: Jan. 15, 12:30 - 5:30 p.m., American Legion Post 230 Sherrill, 168 E. Seneca St.
Feb. 4: 1 - 6 p.m., Schuyler Commons 55+ Independent Living, 1776 Independence Square
Feb. 5: 10 a.m. - 4 p.m., Faxton Saint Luke’s Health Care, 1656 Champlin Ave.; 11:30 a.m. - 4:30 p.m., SUNY Polytechnic Institute - Student Center, 100 Seymour Road
Feb. 6: 11:30 a.m. - 4:30 p.m., Kids Oneida, 310 Main St.
Feb. 7: 11:30 a.m. - 4:30 p.m., Utica College Student Activities, 1600 Burrstone Road
Vernon: Feb. 8, 2:30 - 6:30 p.m., Sconondoa Sherrill Masonic Lodge, 5211 W. Seneca St.
Verona: Jan. 25, 2 - 7 p.m., St Peters Lutheran Church, 4897 Old Oneida Road
Dolgeville: Feb. 4, 1 - 6 p.m., Dolgeville Fire Department, 20 S. Helmer Ave.
Jan. 17: 10 a.m. - 3 p.m., Frank J. Basloe Library, 245 N. Main St.
Jan. 25: 9 a.m. - 2 p.m., ARC Herkimer, 350 S. Washington St.
Feb. 12: 10 a.m. - 3 p.m., Bassett Health Care, 321 E. Albany St.
Feb. 14: 10:30 a.m. - 3:30 p.m., Herkimer College Alumni Hall, 100 Reservoir Road
Feb. 15: 9 a.m. - 2 p.m., Herkimer High School, 801 W. German St.
Ilion: Jan. 25: 8:30 a.m. - 1:30 p.m., Municipal Building, 49 Morgan St.
Little Falls: Jan. 25: 9 a.m. - 2 p.m., Mohawk Valley Christian Academy, 156 W. Monroe St.; Feb. 11: noon - 5 p.m., Little Falls Elks Lodge, 60 Ann St.
Mohawk: Jan. 28, 1 - 6 p.m., Blessed Sacrament Church, 71 E. Main St.; Feb. 12, 12:30 - 5:30 p.m., American Legion Post 25 Mohawk, 43 W. Main St.
West Winfield: Jan. 17: 1 - 6 p.m., St Joseph’s Church, 303 W. Main St.