Intense summer weather creates blood shortage

Darci Marchese,

WASHINGTON – The hot, steamy, stormy weather is leading to the worst blood shortage in 15 years.

The American Red Cross says it’s in urgent need of blood.

Dr. Dyand Borge, regional medical director for the American Red Cross, says blood donations were down about 10 percent in June – and then the derecho struck.

He says centers that were scheduled to have blood drives experienced power outages at the end of June, a missed opportunity to collect blood. Borge says two major centers in Fairfax County and Rockville lost power for several days and it had a big impact on blood donations.

The extreme heat has also been preventing frequent donors from giving blood.

Borge says all types of blood are urgently needed, but especially A negative, B negative, O positive and O negative, the universal blood type.

Borge says if three more people gave blood for every drive it runs, it could meet its need for patients in the area.

To learn more about blood donations or to find out how to give blood, visit the Red Cross blood donation website or call 1-800-RED-CROSS (1-800-733-2767).

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(Copyright 2012 by WTOP. All Rights Reserved.)

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