Blood Supply down due to Weather and Flu

While the blood supply has not reached a point of having any shortages, agencies have experienced low levels of a number of blood types and have started to encourage healthy people to donate blood.

Because the frigid weather and flu have forced many people to stay inside across the country, the blood supply in blood banks is falling as donors have cancelled appointments.

An official from the American Red Cross said that a lower than normal turnout has been experienced in many blood banks and that several blood drives had to be cancelled due to inclement weather, while in some areas of the country, flu season was taking its toll as well.

The ARC says that one out of every seven people that enter a hospital for treatment will need a blood transfusion. Blood is used for cancer patients, surgery patients, hemophiliacs and accident victims.

O-negative is the type of blood most needed a type that is often called for during emergencies because any patient can use that type of blood. However, only 7% of the population is O-negative.

In one New York blood center, the director said they normally try to have a five to seven day blood supply of all types on hand, but their current supply is down to just three days.

Due to frigid arctic air pushed down into the U.S. from Canada, many areas that normally do not experience cold temperatures have been under freeze warnings for days. However, it appears a warming trend will take hold next week in parts of the nation, which should help people to get out and hopefully replenish the blood supply through their donations.

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