Wintry Weather Causes Urgent Need for Blood Donations

People giving blood during a donation drive.
New York State Senate

The Blood Connection’s (TBC) local blood supply is low because the wintry weather has caused consecutive days of low donor turnout. In order to best serve local hospital patients who rely on blood donors, TBC needs a stable blood supply.

In addition, winter weather is wreaking havoc in many communities across the country. Thousands of people are being impacted in states like Texas and Louisiana where some blood centers have had to completely shut down, creating a critical need for blood donations. Despite the winter weather, patients in those impacted hospitals are still in great need of blood products, and blood donors in this community can become a lifeline for them.

The Blood Connection has received several pleas for help from blood centers in Texas, who are struggling to meet their local hospitals’ needs because of the continued winter weather. TBC wants to be in a position to help if more donations start to come in.

“The situation in San Antonio is dire. All blood drives cancelled over the past three days. We had to close all the donor rooms on Monday, and because of limited city power, only three donor rooms were open on Tuesday. The community requires about 400 units a day, we have been collecting less than 50. The trauma centers are still experiencing high numbers of trauma patients including auto accidents, gun shot wounds, and stabbings. While most hospitals are limiting any kind of surgeries other than trauma, there are still patients who need regular transfusions to stay alive.” – Elizabeth Waltman (South Texas Blood)

“Our community needs blood and greatly appreciate those who are able to help.  GulfCoast was averaging 1000 units collected per day, they have not been able to collect since Sunday. Power has been out at most of his facilities going on 2+ days. ” – Brian Gannon, CEO of GulfCoast Regional Blood Center (Houston Metro Area)

“Central Texas’ community blood and platelet supply is critically low as the winter storm has closed We Are Blood’s donation centers and mobile drives since Saturday. Through Wednesday, we have been unable to safely open and collect donations with impassable travel conditions and power outages affecting many of our donors, volunteers, and staff. Importing necessary donations from other areas of the country has been unfeasible due to airport and highway closures. While all donation types are in dire need, platelet donations, with their shorter shelf life, are especially low after several days of closures.” – Nick Canedo, We Are Blood VP of Community Relations (Austin Metro Area)

As a community blood center, The Blood Connection will always prioritize local hospitals’ needs first, but in a time like this, blood donors are needed everywhere to help neighbors in other regions get through a hard time. Blood donors are urged to make an appointment and donate blood as soon as possible.  Donors can visit thebloodconnection.org to find a nearby blood drive or to schedule a donation appointment.