Directors at the American Red Cross say extremely cold weather, nationwide, is causing a shortage in blood and platelet donations.
TRI-CITIES/YAKIMA, WA - Directors at the American Red Cross say extremely cold weather, nationwide, is causing a shortage in blood and platelet donations.
The polar vortex that crippled much of the United States this week, sending temperatures 20 to 40 below zero, didn't necessarily affect the Pacific Northwest. As a result, blood from Washington and Oregon is essential right now.
Since January 2nd, approximately 280 blood drives across 25 states were canceled due to snow and extreme cold. The cancellations resulted in a shortfall of nearly 8,400 blood and platelet donations.
Still, directors say they were able to help patients who needed blood transfusions during the extreme weather, thanks to blood products they already had in stock; now the blood needs to be replenished.
The organization is asking platelet donors and people who are O-positive, O-negative, A-negative and B-negative--the most in-demand blood types--to consider giving blood to offset the shortage.
There are two blood drives happening in the community on January 9th, at the following locations:
First Presbyterian Church
2001 W. Kennewick Avenue
Kennewick, WA 99336
1:00 - 6:00 p.m.
Yakima Blood Donation Center
302 S. 2nd Street
Yakima, WA 98901
Noon - 4:30 p.m.
Walk-ins are welcomed or you can call 1-800-RED-CROSS. If you'd like to schedule an appointment to donate blood, click here.