Winter Storm impacts blood collections: Donations needed

The American Red Cross is asking all eligible blood and platelet donors to help offset a weather-related shortfall in donations.

According to the Red Cross, since the beginning of January, winter storms and freezing temperatures have resulted in more than 600 Red Cross blood drive cancellations and nearly 20,000 uncollected blood and platelet donations. In South Carolina, severe winter weather forced the cancellation of 27 Red Cross blood drives, resulting in about 1,200 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 Ryan Corcoran, Community CEO of the Red Cross South Carolina 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:

Feb. 2 1:00 PM - 6:00 PM Pamplico IGA 624 South Walnut St. Pamplico, SC 29583

Feb. 3 9:00 AM - 2:00 PM North Myrtle Beach Aquatics and Fitness Center 1100 Second Ave. S. North Myrtle Beach, SC 29582

Feb. 4 10:00 AM - 5:00 PM Grand Strand Regional Medical Center 809 82nd Parkway Myrtle Beach, SC 29572

Feb. 5 10:00 AM - 4:00 PM Coastal Carolina University E. Craig Wall Building Highway 501 West Conway, SC 29526

Feb. 5 1:00 PM - 6:00 PM St. Mary Our Lady of Ransom Catholic Church 317 Broad St. Georgetown, SC 29440

Feb. 6 9:00 AM - 2:00 PM Horry Georgetown Technical College - Grand Strand Campus 743 Hemlock Ave. Myrtle Beach, SC 29577

Feb. 6 1:00 PM - 6:00 PM Surfside United Methodist Church 800 13th Ave. N. Surfside Beach, SC 29575

Feb. 4 9:00 AM - 2:30 PM Northeastern Technical College 1201 Chesterfield Hwy. Cheraw, SC 29520

Feb. 7 NOON - 5:00 PM Beech Hill Elementary School 1001 Beech Hill Road Summerville, S.C. 29485

Feb. 5 10:00 AM - 3:00 PM PSA LLC A MED3000 Florence 1362 Celebration Blvd. Florence, SC 29501

Feb. 6 8:30 AM - 2:30 PM Darlington County Institute of Technology 160 Pinedale Dr. Darlington, SC 29532

Myrtle Beach Donation Center 3681 Renee Dr., Unit 4 (The Plaza at Carolina Forest), Myrtle Beach, S.C. 29579

Blood donations:

Tuesday: 7:00 a.m.-1:30 p.m.

Wednesday and Thursday: noon-6:30 p.m.

Friday7:00 a.m.-1:30 p.m.

Florence Donation Center

1555-B West Palmetto St., Florence S.C. 29501

Blood donations:

Tuesday and Wednesday: 11 a.m.-7 p.m.

Friday and Saturday: 6 a.m.- 2 p.m.

Platelet donations:

Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday: 11 a.m.-6 p.m.

Friday, Saturday and Sunday: 6 a.m.-1 p.m.