Red Cross Calls for Blood and Platelet Donations After Severe Winter Weather Impacts Collections

By: American Red Cross Last Updated: January 9, 2014

RedCrossLogoUrgent need for platelet donors, blood donors with types O, A negative and B negative

As severe winter weather begins to subside, the American Red Cross is asking all eligible blood and platelet donors to help offset a weather-related shortfall in donations.

Approximately 280 blood drives across 25 states were canceled across the U.S. due to snow and extreme cold. The blood drive cancellations resulted in a shortfall of nearly 8, 400 blood and platelet donations since Jan. 2. In Northern Indiana, severe winter weather forced the cancellation of more than 30 Red Cross blood drives, resulting about significantly fewer than expected blood and platelet donations over the past four days.

It’s the blood products already on the shelves that help save lives when severe weather hits,” said Sharyn Whitman, CEO of the Red Cross Indiana-Ohio Blood Services Region. “Thanks to generous Red Cross blood and platelet donors, blood products were available for patients who still needed transfusions despite the weather. Now we invite those previously ‘frozen out’ from giving blood or platelets to come in soon.”

Platelet donors, as well as blood donors with the most in-demand blood types — O positive and negative, A negative and B negative — are urgently needed to give blood in the days and weeks ahead to offset the shortfall.

Platelets, a key clotting component of blood often needed by cancer patients, must be transfused within five days of donation, so donations are constantly needed. Red blood cells, the oxygen carrying component of blood, are the most widely transfused blood product and must be transfused within 42 days.

Upcoming blood donation opportunities:

  • Thursday, Jan. 16, from 2:30 p.m. until 6:30 p.m. at Kingsbury Elementary School in the Cafeteria, located at 802 West 400 South in La Porte. This is a Pint Size Heroes blood drive.
  • Friday, Jan. 17, from 8 a.m. until 6 p.m. at La Porte High School in the Small Gymnasium, located at 602 F Street in La Porte. Come to donate and receive a water bottle.
  • Monday, Jan. 20, from 1 p.m. until 6 p.m. at St. John Kanty in the Hall, located at 7012 North 600 East in Rolling Prairie.
  • Wednesday, Jan. 22, from 2:30 p.m. until 6:30 p.m. at Wanatah Christian Church in the gymnasium, located at U.S. 30 and 1100 West in Wanatah.
  • Thursday, Jan. 23, from 10 a.m. until 4 p.m. at Purdue University North Central in Room 144, located at 1401 S. U.S. Highway 421 in Westville.
  • Friday, Jan. 24, from 7 a.m. until 1 p.m. at IU Health La Porte Hospital in the Auditorium, located at 1007 W. Lincolnway in La Porte.
  • Tuesday, Jan. 28, from 1 p.m. until 6 p.m. at Bethany Lutheran Church in the Hall, located at 102 G St. in La Porte.
  • Friday, Jan. 31, from 2 p.m. until 6:30 p.m. at St. Joseph Church, located at 101 C St. in La Porte.

How to donate blood
Simply call 1-800-RED CROSS (1-800-733-2767) or visit to make an appointment or for more information. A blood donor card or driver’s license or two other forms of identification are required at check-in. Individuals who are 17 years of age (16 with parental consent in some states), weigh at least 110 pounds and are in generally good health may be eligible to donate blood. High school students and other donors 18 years of age and younger also have to meet certain height and weight requirements.

About the American Red Cross
The American Red Cross shelters, feeds and provides emotional support to victims of disasters; supplies about 40 percent of the nation's blood; teaches skills that save lives; provides international humanitarian aid; and supports military members and their families. The Red Cross is a not-for-profit organization that depends on volunteers and the generosity of the American public to perform its mission. For more information, please visit or visit us on Twitter at @RedCross.