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Bad winter weather puts damper on blood donations
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SAVANNAH – A wintry mix of rain, sleet and snow across the Southeast seriously impacted the region’s already low blood supply.  As a result, the American Red Cross Blood Services, Southern Region, experienced a 26 percent decrease in inventory on Friday. With four blood types at or below a half day’s supply, Red Cross officials are asking all eligible donors to make a donation as soon as possible.  

It is especially crucial for type O and type B blood donors to give blood within the next few days.  Type O negative blood is the universal donor type and can be given to all patients.  It is commonly used to treat trauma victims, pregnant women and newborns.

“The recent harsh weather has made it difficult to collect the blood needed to supply the region,” says Randy Edwards, chief executive officer of the American Red Cross Blood Services, Southern Region.  “The need for life-saving transfusions does not stop for inclement weather.  Patients throughout the region are depending on donors to come out and give blood.”

Expected wintry conditions over north Georgia last weekend may have further impacted blood collections.  The Southern Region needs 1,200 blood donations each weekday in order to adequately supply more than 130 hospitals and health care facilities.

However, this goal is seldom achieved, and blood must be brought in from other regions to routinely meet the needs here.  

“Because we rely on other states to help maintain our blood supply, severe weather in other parts of the country can impact our ability to meet the needs of area hospitals,” added Edwards.