(WYTV) – Record breaking cold and winter storms across much of the country have had a significant impact on blood and platelet donations. The American Red Cross is urging healthy individuals, especially those with type O blood, to give now to ensure blood products are available for patient emergencies.
Extreme winter weather has forced the cancellation of hundreds of Red Cross blood drives in about 30 states and caused more than 15,000 blood and platelet donations to go uncollected.
In Ohio, nearly 700 donations have gone uncollected as more than 20 blood drives canceled across the state.
The Red Cross says every day thousands of patients rely on lifesaving blood donations. The need for blood is constant, even during snowstorms and the COVID-19 pandemic.
They are hoping to ensure that lifesaving patient care isn’t impacted. The Red Cross urges individuals who are able to make appointments to donate blood by either downloading the Red Cross Blood Donor App, visiting their website, calling 1-800-RED CROSS (1-800-733-2767) or enabling the Blood Donor Skill on any Alexa Echo device.
Meredith Reinhard of Willoughby donated for the first time Feb. 9 at a blood drive in Warrensville Heights.
“As a first year PA student beginning in May, my goal for 2021 was to give back and go through the experience of donating blood,” said Reinhard. “I love that I get to help save three lives and find out my blood type.”
Important COVID-19 information for donors
The Red Cross is testing blood, platelet and plasma donations for COVID-19 antibodies. The test may indicate if the donor’s immune system has produced antibodies to this coronavirus, regardless of whether an individual developed COVID-19 symptoms.
Red Cross antibody tests will be helpful to identify individuals who have COVID-19 antibodies and may now help current coronavirus patients in need of convalescent plasma transfusions.
Convalescent plasma is a type of blood donation collected from COVID-19 survivors that have antibodies that may help patients who are actively fighting the virus.
Plasma from whole blood donations that test positive for high levels of COVID-19 antibodies may be used to help COVID-19 patients.
COVID-19 antibody test results will be available within one to two weeks in the Red Cross Blood Donor App or donor portal at RedCrossBlood.org.
A positive antibody test result does not confirm infection or immunity.
The Red Cross is not testing donors to diagnose illness, referred to as a diagnostic test. To protect the health and safety of Red Cross staff and donors, it is important that individuals who do not feel well or believe they may be ill with COVID-19 postpone donation.
Each Red Cross blood drive and donation center follows the highest standards of safety and infection control, and additional precautions – including temperature checks, social distancing and face coverings for donors and staff – have been implemented to help protect the health of all those in attendance.
Donors are asked to schedule an appointment prior to arriving at the drive and are required to wear a face covering or mask while at the drive, in alignment with Centers for Disease Control and Prevention public guidance.
Upcoming blood donation opportunities Feb. 22-March 15
- 3/1/2021: 2 p.m. – 7 p.m., Elks Lodge 305, 824 E. State St.
- 3/10/2021: 9 a.m. – 2 p.m., Salem Regional Medical Center, 1995 E. State Str.
- 3/6/2021: 10 a.m. – 3 p.m., Austintown Library, 600 S. Raccoon Rd.
- 3/9/2021: 2 p.m. – 7 p.m., Redeemer Lutheran Church, 2305 S. Canfield-Niles Rd.
- 2/22/2021: 11 a.m. – 5 p.m., Boardman Public Library, 7680 Glenwood Ave.
- 3/8/2021: 1:30 p.m. – 7 p.m., Westminster Presbyterian Church, 119 Stadium Dr.
- 3/13/2021: 10 a.m. – 3 p.m., Boardman Public Library, 7680 Glenwood Ave.
- 3/9/2021: 1:30 p.m. – 6:30 p.m., Damascus United Methodist Church, 300 Valley Rd.
- North Jackson
- 3/1/2021: 8:30 a.m. – 1:30 p.m., Jackson Milton High School, 13910 Mahoning Ave.
- 3/5/2021: 10 a.m. – 4 p.m., Poland Library, 311 S. Main Str.
- 2/24/2021: 10 a.m. – 4 p.m., Eugenia Atkinson Recreation Center, 903 Otis Str.
- 2/25/2021: 11 a.m. – 5 p.m., Stambaugh Auditorium, 1000 Fifth Ave.
- 2/25/2021: 1 p.m. – 6 p.m., Zion Lutheran Church, 3300 Canfield Rd.
- 3/3/2021: 11 a.m. – 4 p.m., Youngstown Skate, 7080 Tiffany Blvd.
- 3/9/2021: 2 p.m. – 6 p.m., Church Hill United Methodist Church, 189 Churchill Hubbard Rd.
- 3/2/2021: 11:30 a.m. – 5:30 p.m., Tiffany’s Banquet Center, 601 Bedford Rd. SE
- 2/26/2021: 12 p.m. – 6 p.m., Wildare United Methodist Church, 7211 N Park Ave. Ext
- 3/10/2021: 12 p.m. – 5:30 p.m., Cortland United Methodist Church, 155 N. High Str.
- 3/13/2021: 10 a.m. – 3 p.m., Fowler Community Church, 4665 Wilson Sharpsville Rd.
- 2/25/2021: 11 a.m. – 5 p.m., Shiloh Full Gospel Church, 1310 Shannon Rd.
- 3/15/2021: 1:30 p.m. – 7 p.m., Rock Of Grace Church Kinsman, 6745 Ohio 5
- Newton Falls
- 3/10/2021: 1 p.m. – 6 p.m., St Mary’s Social Hall, 120 Maple Dr.
- 2/23/2021: 11 a.m. – 5 p.m., Niles Wellness Center, 213 Sharkey Dr.
- 2/23/2021: 11:30 a.m. – 5:30 p.m., Eastwood Mall, 5555 Youngstown-Warren Rd.
- 3/11/2021: 11:30 a.m. – 5:30 p.m., Eastwood Mall, 5555 Youngstown-Warren Rd.
- 2/27/2021: 9 a.m. – 2 p.m., St Paul’s Lutheran Church, 2860 East Market St.
- 3/1/2021: 10 a.m. – 3 p.m., North Mar Church, 3855 E. Market St.
- 3/1/2021: 12 p.m. – 6 p.m., Howland Community Church, 198 Niles-Cortland Rd.
- 3/2/2021: 12 p.m. – 6 p.m., Champion Presbyterian Church, 4997 Mahoning Ave. NW