Red Cross urging more people to donate during extreme blood shortage

Red Cross urging more people to donate during extreme blood shortage

WILMINGTON, NC (WECT) - One single blood donation can help save three lives. Right now, there is an extreme blood shortage across the country, including in the cape fear. That’s why The Red Cross of Eastern North Carolina and New Hanover Regional Medical Center need your help.

NHRMC AirLink/VitaLink Critical Care Transport Team are hosting a community blood drive Saturday, Feb 9th. The goal of the drive is to increase access to emergency blood throughout our region. A lot of the blood shortage right now is a result of the Polar Vortex in the mid-west late January. Around 20,000 donations were canceled on the east coast because of the weather.

“Right now instead of having a six-to-seven day blood supply in all of the blood centers, we’re down to approximately a three-day supply” says Kevin Collopy with NHRCM AirLink/VitaLink CCT. “That means no hospitals are short on blood right now, but we want to make sure we never get to that point. We want to make sure there’s always an adequate supply and an adequate buffer available so that everyone who’s in need of blood has access to blood.”

The blood donated on Saturday will go to the Red Cross who will donate it to where the need is greatest in our area.

“The blood you donate could end up on an AirLink helicopter, however it could just as easily end up at the hospital in Lumberton. It could end up at Pender Memorial Hospital, at Novant Brunswick Health Center. It’s going to go to the hospital or area where a patient is most in need of blood” Collopy tells WECT.

The blood drive is at Wilmington Convention Center located at 515 Nutt St. from 10 a,m. until 3 p.m. It’s open to the public. Collopy says their goal is to get at least 50 people to donate blood.

“If you are healthy enough to donate, there is no good reason not to donate because a donation can save a life” says Collopy. “It can make a significant impact on a person and you never know when you might be that individual who finds themselves in an emergency situation where they could need blood products.”

Attendees are asked to schedule an appointment. You can do so by clicking here and search by sponsor code: AirLink. You can also call 910-254-2283.

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