Red Cross Winter Blood Shortage Reaches Critical Level

Red Cross Winter Blood Shortage Reaches Critical Level

Ongoing severe winter weather has more than doubled the number of canceled American Red Cross blood drives and the resulting blood and platelet donation shortfall since earlier this month. The Red Cross now considers the situation critical and is reissuing an urgent call for blood and platelet donors.

More than 550 blood drives have been forced to cancel due to winter weather in January, causing over 16,500 blood and platelet donations to go uncollected through last week. In addition, bitter cold and widespread flu have contributed to very low turnout at many blood drives.

Every day, no matter the weather, the Red Cross must collect more than 13,000 blood and platelet donations to meet the needs of patients.

Make an appointment to give blood or platelets by downloading the free Red Cross Blood Donor App, visiting or calling 1-800-RED CROSS (1-800-733-2767).

Upcoming blood donation opportunities in the area, Jan. 23 to Feb. 15


Feb. 15: 9 a.m.-2 p.m., at American Real Estate Partners, 2350 Corporate Park Drive, Suite 110


1/29: 1-5 p.m., at Federal Highway Administration, 6300 Georgetown Pike

Feb. 3: 8 a.m.-1:30 p.m., at Sharon Masonic Temple, 999 Balls Hill Road


1/24: 10 a.m.-3 p.m., at Reston Library, 11925 Bowman Towne Drive

1/24: 3-8 p.m., at St Thomas a Becket RCC, 1421 Wiehle Ave.

Feb. 2: 9 a.m.-2 p.m., at Extended Stay America, 12190 Sunset Hills Road

Feb. 9: 8 a.m.-1:30 p.m., at U.S. Geological Survey, 12201 Sunrise Valley Drive

How to Donate Blood

Download the American Red Cross Blood Donor App, visit or call 1-800-RED CROSS (1-800-733-2767) to make an appointment or for more information. All blood types are needed to ensure a reliable supply for patients. A blood donor card or driver’s license or two other forms of identification are required at check-in. Individuals who are 17 years of age in most states (16 with parental consent where allowed by state law), weigh at least 110 pounds and are in generally good health may be eligible to donate blood. High school students and other donors 18 years of age and younger also have to meet certain height and weight requirements.

Blood and platelet donors can save time at their next donation by using RapidPass to complete their pre-donation reading and health history questionnaire online, on the day of their donation, before arriving at the blood drive. To get started, follow the instructions at or use the Blood Donor App.

For more information, visit or, or on Twitter at @RedCross.