DAYTON, Ohio (WDTN) – Last week’s brutal cold and heavy snow caused difficulties across the country, one of those being a shortage of blood donations.
The American Red Cross said they’ve had at least 20 blood drive cancellations in Ohio due to severe weather. Marketing manager for the Community Blood Center in Dayton, Mark Pompilio, said the story has been similar at his organization.
“We really had a tough week last week,” he said. “And the snow started before last week — that’s easy to forget. We were already having high school blood drive cancellations the week prior. So we went into last week knowing that we would be pressing for more blood collections particularly towards the end of the week.”
Both Pompilio and representatives from the Red Cross said there’s already been a push to collect blood locally due to COVID, but the strain has become even more intense on the Miami Valley and for those across the country who’ve suffered following last week’s storms.
“We know that centers all across the country have been desperate for blood. If we could, we would have sent blood out, we just couldn’t do that under [these] circumstances,” said Pompilio. “We look for ways to try to generate more [blood] within ourselves. We have our own employee blood drive coming up. It’s just not enough to be able to take that liberty to send out.”
But with weather conditions expected to improve over the next week, Pompilio and the Red Cross say they’re urging Americans to help the community recover from blood shortages caused by recent events.
Pompilio explained, “I’m not going to stop emphasizing that this is ‘blood donor year.’ It’s something where it goes month to month and continues. Instead of asking somebody to donate once, we still ask, “Can you consider donating three times if you’re able this year,” because that’s the kind of help we need to get to the numbers where hospitals will be feeling normal…not feeling like they’re always up against supply.”
Both organizations say they’re in desperate need of type O blood but are looking to collect a variety in order to continue saving lives. To learn more about donating to the Red Cross, click here, and to donate to the Community Blood Center in Dayton, click here.