Donate today to the Red Cross

It’s National Blood Donor Month – something many of us may not know.

And despite the good-natured spirit of some would-be donors, the harsh winter weather of late has wreaked havoc on the American Red Cross’ ability to replenish its blood and platelet supply.

According to the Red Cross, since the beginning of the new year, some 240 blood drives have been canceled across the country, resulting in nearly 7,000 uncollected donations.

Our area – the Greater Alleghenies Blood Services Region – has witnessed 18 Red Cross blood drive cancellations since Jan. 2, resulting in 300 expected blood and platelet donations.

“The Red Cross has an urgent need for blood types O positive, O negative, A negative and B negative,” says Carolyn Ken, CEO of the Greater Alleghenies Blood Services Region.

The Red Cross always is in need of donors, but the winter months are especially challenging. We urge those who donate to continue doing so, and those who have never donated to perhaps give it a try.

Think of this: One pint of blood can save up to three lives. That’s an amazing statement.

Here’s a few other facts that may surprise:

* Every 2 seconds, someone in the U.S. needs blood.

* More than 41,000 blood donations are needed every day.

* A total of 30 million blood components are transfused each year in the U.S.

* A single car accident victim can require as much as 100 pints of blood.

As the Red Cross states: “Cold Hands, Warm Hearts, Donate Blood. It may be chilly outside, but when you donate blood, you help to warm someone’s heart.”