Red Cross calls for blood and platelet donations after severe winter weather impacts collections

Urgent need for blood donors with types O, A negative and B negative & platelet donors

WILMINGTON, NC  January 31, 2014 — As severe winter weather begins to subside, the American Red Cross is asking all eligible blood and platelet donors to help offset a weather-related shortfall in donations.

Cape Fear Chapter of the American Red Cross2

Since the beginning of January, winter storms and freezing temperatures have resulted in more than 600 Red Cross blood drive cancellations and nearly 20,000 uncollected blood and platelet donations. In the Carolinas Blood Services Region, severe winter weather forced the cancellation of more than 50 Red Cross blood drives, resulting in more than 2,000 fewer than expected blood and platelet donations last week.

“It’s the blood products already on the shelves that help save lives when severe weather hits,” said Steve Maness, CEO, of the Red Cross Carolinas Blood Services Region. “Thanks to generous Red Cross blood and platelet donors, blood products were available for patients who still needed transfusions despite the weather. Now we invite those previously ‘frozen out’ from giving blood or platelets to come in soon.”

Platelet donors, as well as blood donors with the most in-demand blood types — O positive and negative, A negative and B negative — are urgently needed to give blood in the days and weeks ahead to offset the shortfall.

Platelets, a key clotting component of blood often needed by cancer patients, must be transfused within five days of donation, so donations are constantly needed. Red blood cells, the oxygen carrying component of blood, are the most widely transfused blood product and must be transfused within 42 days.

Upcoming blood donation opportunities:

  • 02/02 – Harbor United Methodist Church  (4853 Masonboro Loop Road Wilmington)
    8:30 am – 1:00 pm
  • 02/03 – Southport Community (209 East Nash Street Southport)
    1:30 pm – 6:00 pm
  • 02/03- Wilmington Blood Center (1102 South 16th Street)
    1:00 pm – 6:00 pm
  • 02/04- Burgaw Community (103 S. Cowan Street Burgaw)
    11:00 am – 3:30 pm
  • 02/05  Wilmington Blood Center (1102 South 16th Street)
    11:30 am – 4:30 pm
  • 02/06 – Lowe’s 2256 Surf City (106 Wilkes Lane Hampstead NC)
    2:00 pm – 6:30 pm
  • 02/06/14 Chadbourn Extension and Community (201 W 1st Ave Chadbourn)
    2:00 pm – 6:30 pm
  • 02/07 – Pender High School (5380 Hwy 53, West Burgaw)
    8:45 am – 1:45 pm
  • 02/07 – Wilmington Blood Center (1102 South 16th Street)
    8:00 am – 1:30 pm


How to donate blood

Simply call 1-800-RED CROSS (1-800-733-2767) or visit 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 parental consent 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.


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 visit us on Twitter at @RedCross.