We're only about a month into winter and it's already causing major problems for the Red Cross and its blood supply. So far this year more than 300 blood drives have been canceled, nationwide, because of snowy and frigid weather.
As a retired nurse, Gillian Bourdelais understands the importance of blood and platelet donation, and that's why she's donating platelets at the Red Cross in Green Bay today.
According to Gillian Bourdelais, "With last week's weather they're very short again and with what they normally need to meet the needs of the hospitals, so I thought I could make it and help out."
That's exactly the attitude Red Cross officials hope more people will have as the organization puts out a call for blood donations.
"We do have an urgent need right now for all blood types," says Donor Recruitment Manager, Michelle Otero. "We have gotten to that level where there is an urgent need. We need all blood types coming out to make sure that our shelves are staying stocked for those hospitals."
The need comes after Mother Nature forced the cancellation of more than 300 drives nationwide since the beginning of the year. Wisconsin alone has canceled 25 blood drives and is down more than 500 units of blood just this month.
Says Otero, "Every blood drive is important and every time we have to cancel one that's units not being collected that we were expecting to bring in, so we need to make that up in other areas."
And by putting out a call for blood donations, Red Cross officials are hoping, like in the past, northeast Wisconsin residents will step up to help.
Otero adds, "We want people to get in and out. It takes about an hour to donate. You can save up to three lives during that time and especially with us being under collections right now we need everyone coming in."
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