Severe winter weather during the past couple of weeks has created a shortage of the blood supply in Arkansas. According to the American Red Cross, the Greater Ozarks-Arkansas Blood Services region alone has seen a shortfall of nearly 900 blood and platelet donations since Feb. 16.
As soon as the severe weather clears and safe travel resumes on the state's highways and roads, the American Red Cross is urging all eligible blood and platelet donors to make an appointment to donate and help replenish the blood supply.

Severe winter weather during the past couple of weeks has created a shortage of the blood supply in Arkansas. According to the American Red Cross, the Greater Ozarks-Arkansas Blood Services region alone has seen a shortfall of nearly 900 blood and platelet donations since Feb. 16.

As soon as the severe weather clears and safe travel resumes on the state’s highways and roads, the American Red Cross is urging all eligible blood and platelet donors to make an appointment to donate and help replenish the blood supply.

Blood donors of all types – particularly those with types 0 negative, B negative and A negative blood – and platelet donors are greatly needed says Danielle Ray, media spokesperson for the Red Cross.

According to Ray, the need for blood doesn’t take a snow day. She said that it’s the blood products on the shelves that save lives when severe weather like this hits. Generous donors, she added, were the reason patients who needed transfusions were able to receive them during the recent outbreak of bad weather.

“To schedule an appointment to donate, download the Blood Donor App, visit redcrossblood.org., or call 1-800-REDCROSS (1-800-733-2767),” stated Ray.

A blood donor card or driver’s license or two other forms of identification are needed to check-in. Eligible donors must be 17 years old (16 with parental consent in some states), weigh at least 110 pounds and be in over all good health. High school students and other donors 18 and under also must meet certain height and weight requirements.

The next Red Cross blood drive in Phillips County is scheduled for Tuesday, March 10 from 1 to 6 p.m. on the Phillips Community College campus in Helena-West Helena.

About the American Red Cross

The American Red Cross helps shelter, feed and provide emotional support to victims of disasters ranging from fires, to floods to tornadoes. It supplies approximately 40 percent of the nation’s blood. The Red Cross also teaches life-saving skills, provides international humanitarian aid and supports military personnel and their families.

A not-for-profit organization, the Red Cross depends on volunteers and donations to achieve its mission. For more information about the American Red Cross, please visit redcross.org or on Twitter at @RedCross.