Winter storms deepen Red Cross blood shortage

On February 16, 2017, in Latest News, by The Somerville Times

Blood and platelet donors needed now

The American Red Cross is urging eligible donors throughout Massachusetts to give blood or platelets following recent winter storms, which have compounded a severe winter blood shortage.

Snow and icy roads forced more than 30 blood drives to cancel in the Massachusetts and Connecticut Blood Services Region over the last week, causing more than 1,100 donations to go uncollected. Since the beginning of the year, severe weather forced the cancellation of more than 300 blood drives in 30 states, resulting in over 12,000 uncollected donations.

“The need for blood doesn’t pause for severe weather – it’s constant,” said Alyson Barraza, communications manager of the Massachusetts and Connecticut Red Cross Blood Services Region. “Right now, blood and platelet donations are being distributed to hospitals faster than they are coming in. Eligible donors of all blood types are critically needed.”

How to help

Eligible donors can find a blood donation opportunity and schedule an appointment to donate by using the free Blood Donor App, visiting or calling 1-800-RED CROSS (1-800-733-2767). The Red Cross is extending hours at many donation sites for more donors to give blood or platelets. Overall, the Red Cross has added nearly 200 hours to blood donation centers and community blood drives across the country over the next few weeks. Donation appointments and completion of a RapidPass online health history questionnaire are encouraged to help speed up the donation process.

Who blood donations help

Every two seconds, someone in the U.S. needs blood. Accident and burn victims, heart surgery and organ transplant patients, and patients receiving treatment for leukemia, cancer or sickle cell disease may all require blood to save their lives.

Local blood donation opportunities:


2/17/2017: 12 p.m. – 5:30 p.m., Tufts University Carmichael Hall, 200 Packard Avenue


About the American Red Cross:

The American Red Cross shelters, feeds and provides emotional support to victims of disasters; supplies about 40 percent of the nation’s blood; teaches skills that save lives; provides international humanitarian aid; and supports military members and their families. The Red Cross is a not-for-profit organization that depends on volunteers and the generosity of the American public to perform its mission. For more information, please visit or, or visit us on Twitter at @RedCross.


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