As severe weather continues to beat up much of the country, U.S. blood centers are struggling to maintain adequate supplies. Wednesday’s historic bomb cyclone in Colorado, which reached as far south as New Mexico and Texas, caused sustained hurricane-force winds and blizzard conditions. Vitalant closed multiple donation centers and canceled blood drives in Colorado, Wyoming and South Dakota, resulting in a loss of nearly 1,000 blood donations. Additional Vitalant locations were unable to transport blood samples to our laboratory for testing, delaying the release of units to hospitals, due to extreme high winds and canceled flights.
Other parts of the country are now experiencing or bracing for dangerous conditions from Winter Storm Ulmer—tornadoes, snow, flooding and impassable roads are impacting an estimated 105 million people.
Donors are strongly encouraged to give blood today through next week to immediately rebuild the community blood supply. To schedule an appointment to give blood, go to vitalant.org or call 877-258-4825. Walk-in donors are always welcome.
“We’re strongly urging our donors here in Hattiesburg and throughout the Pine Belt Region to give blood now in support of those areas severely impacted by this storm and to rebuild the blood supply,” said Danny Garrick, Southeast Division President for Vitalant. “The severity of this issue has the potential to negatively impact patient care. It’s imperative that every person who feels healthy and is eligible gives blood now.”
There is a critical need for all blood types. Locally, Vitalant needs to collect 1800 donations of all types per week to replenish the supply and meet the needs of area patients. Our team can assist you in determining the most optimal donation based on your blood type and other factors.
Volunteer blood donors must be at least 16 years old, weigh at least 110 pounds and be in general good health. Additional height/weight requirements apply to donors 22 and younger, and donors who are 16 and 17 must have signed permission from a parent or guardian.