Storm's Impact On Blood Drives - Public Urged to Donate

Press Release from the American Red Cross

The American Red Cross anticipates that recent powerful storms which hit parts of Kentucky, Maryland, Ohio, Virginia and West Virginia also has the potential to impact blood drives scheduled throughout those states. Across the Midwest and Mid-Atlantic states, Red Cross blood drives representing 1,700 potential blood donations have been cancelled through July 3 due to this past weekend’s storms.

While only a few blood drives have been cancelled in the local Greater Alleghenies Blood Services Region, the loss of power and fallen trees in some area may hamper many people from honoring their prior commitments to donate at local blood drives.

“Individuals who have power and are able to get out, are urged to donate blood,” said John Hagins, CEO of the Greater Alleghenies Blood Services Region. “This storm comes during our emergency appeal for blood donors and has the potential to cause a further decline in already low numbers of blood donations.”

The Red Cross continues an emergency appeal for all blood types, but especially types O negative, A negative, B negative and O positive. Other factors are also causing a decline in blood donations. Many regular blood donors are expected to take extended vacations for the mid-week Independence Day holiday. In addition, many people don’t want to leave their air conditioned homes and businesses to donate blood during heat waves.

“We have been working to rebuild our inventories to adequate levels, but the storms and heat present some unexpected challenges,” Hagins added. “However, most blood drive locations remain open and blood donors are needed.” (see list of blood drives following news release)

The Red Cross reminds the public that blood drive sites are air conditioned, and when donating blood during periods of extreme heat to drink plenty of fluids, preferably water, before and after donating blood. Donors should also wear loose-fitting, lightweight, light-colored clothing in layers and should eat a healthy meal before arriving at the blood drive or donation center.

Enough people must donate blood each and every day to meet the blood needs of accident victims, cancer patients, surgical candidates, children with blood disorders and many others who require blood as part of their medical treatment. More than 900 blood donors are needed in the local Blood Services Region for more than 90 hospitals in parts of six states.

Call 1-800-RED CROSS (1-800-733-2767) or visit redcrossblood.org to make an appointment or for more information. A blood donor card or driver’s license, or two other forms of identification are required at check-in. Individuals who are 17 years of age (16 with signed parental permission consent form in some states), weigh at least 110 pounds and are in generally good health may be eligible to donate blood. High school students and other donors 18 years of age and younger also have to meet certain height and weight requirements.

Upcoming Blood Donation Opportunities (**2RBC** indicates the blood drive is scheduled to include double red cell donation opportunities) – Schedule subject to change depending on availability of electricity and water in storm-affected area.

Wednesday, July 4, 2012
**2RBC** Huntington, WV: 9 a.m. to 2 p.m., American Red Cross, 1111 Veterans Memorial Blvd
Lost Creek, WV: 9 a.m. to 2 p.m., Lost Creek Community Center, Railroad Avenue
**2RBC** Parkersburg, WV: 9 a.m. to 2 p.m., American Red Cross, 3210 Dudley Avenue

Thursday, July 5, 2012
**2RBC** Jackson, OH: Noon to 6:00 p.m., First Church of the Nazarene, 251 Powell Drive
**2RBC** Prichard, WV: 11 a.m. to 4p.m., House-Hasson Hardware Co./Persinger Div., Old Route 52

Friday, July 6, 2012
**2RBC** Ashland, KY: Noon to 4 p.m., Central Fire Station, 1021 Carter Avenue
**2RBC** Charleston, WV: 9 a.m. to Noon, American Red Cross, 4501 MacCorkle Avenue SE
Cross Lanes, WV: 9 a.m. to 2 p.m., CDI, 125 Lakeview Drive
Glenville, WV: 12:30 to 6:30 p.m., Glenville Baptist Church, 217 East Main Street
Madison, WV: 1 to 6 p.m., Madison Civic Center, 261 Washington Avenue
**2RBC** Parkersburg, WV: 9 a.m. to 1 p.m., American Red Cross, 3210 Dudley Avenue

Saturday, July 7, 2012
**2RBC** Proctorville, OH: 9:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m., Rome Church of Christ, 86 Township Road 1056

Monday, July 9, 2012
**2RBC** Parkersburg, WV: Noon to 6:00 p.m., American Red Cross, 3210 Dudley Avenue
State College, PA: 12:30 p.m. to 6:30 p.m., State College Assembly of God, 2201 University Drive
**2RBC** Wheeling, WV: 10:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m., WesBanco Arena “Bikers Want Your Blood!” Blood Drive, 2 14th Street
**2RBC** Williamstown, WV: 1:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m., First Baptist Church, 431 Highland Avenue


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