Red Cross has emergency need for blood after winter weather

Posted at 10:12 AM, Jan 26, 2016
and last updated 2016-01-26 19:00:21-05

Norfolk, Va. (WTKR)- The American Red Cross says it has an emergency need for blood and platelet donors after recent winter weather.

Since January 1st, more than 300 blood drives across 20 states have been canceled due to severe winter weather.

That has lead to more than 9,500 uncollected donations, which is severely impacting what the Red Cross says is an already low winter supply.

In the Mid-Atlantic Red Cross Blood Services Region, 11 blood drives were canceled since January 23, causing a loss of more than 300 blood and platelet donations.

"The reality is the need for blood never takes a snow day, never takes a day off for the flu. There is no substitute. It’s perishable and we need to make sure it’s on the shelves and ready to go for patients in need," Kristen Hatfield with the American Red Cross told NewsChannel 3's Todd Corillo Tuesday.

The Red Cross must collect approximately 14,000 blood and platelet donations every day for patients at about 2,600 hospitals and transfusion centers nationwide.

Blood donation appointments can be scheduled by using the Red Cross Blood Donor App, visiting or calling 1-800-RED CROSS (1-800-733-2767).