Red Cross needs blood

Published 12:00 am Thursday, January 16, 2003

The American Red Cross issued a serious medical alert because the expected snow storm is crippling local blood drive efforts, and for the first time local hospitals have been asked to postpone surgeries as the American Red Cross makes an urgent plea for blood donations.

As of Thursday morning, the region’s blood supply included less than a half day supply of O+ blood- prompting the Red Cross to fax letters to area hospitals, notifying them that O+ blood, among others, will only be released in an emergency situation and requesting that surgeries be postponed. Blood is not available from other parts of the country at this time. More than 600 blood donations are projected to be lost due to the threat of severe winter weather on Friday. All donors, but especially Type O donors, are asked to please donate blood this weekend at special blood drives!

Drive locations to be announced early Friday morning.

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Donors can call 1-800-GIVE LIFE for more information, or they can visit to find a blood drive near them.

A severe blood shortage caused by the storm could continue to affect patient care into next week. Our Hospital Services department will work closely with hospitals to support emergency care, especially for patients who need fragile blood platelets, while we turn to the community for help. Fifty hospitals in Virginia and North Carolina depend on Red Cross blood donors to provide lifesaving blood. Please ask friends, family members and co-workers to help by making a lifesaving donation today.