Red Cross Needs Blood Donors

The Red Cross is urgently seeking blood donations.

The non-profit organization says winter storms forced the cancelation of more than 530 American Red Cross blood drives in January, leading to as many as 15,000 blood and platelet donations going uncollected in the first month of the year. In the month of January, the Red Cross canceled nearly as many blood drives due to severe weather than it did for the entire calendar year of 2023.

Since the beginning of the year, blood drives have been canceled in nearly every state where the Red Cross collects blood and blood products are currently going out to hospitals faster than blood donations are coming in.

The weather issues came at a time when the Red Cross was already seeing an emergency blood shortage across the country, a situation that still exists. Normal winter challenges such as seasonal illnesses ─ namely the flu and COVID-19 ─ and the possibility of additional winter storms could add to an already critical situation.

The Red Cross must collect an additional 8,000 blood donations each week over the next few weeks to recover from the current blood shortage. We thank everyone who came out to give blood during National Blood Donor Month in January and ask that eligible donors make an appointment to give blood or platelets now by using the Red Cross Blood Donor App, visiting or calling 1-800-RED CROSS (1-800-733-2767).

If there is not an immediate opportunity available to donate, donors are asked to make an appointment in the days and weeks ahead to help ensure the Red Cross can replenish and maintain a sufficient blood supply. All those who come to give blood, platelets or plasma from February 1-29, 2024, will get a $20 Gift Card by email. Details are available at

While all blood types are needed, platelet donors and type O blood donors are urgently needed.

Type O positive is the most transfused blood type. Type O negative is the universal blood type and what emergency room personnel reach for when there is no time to determine a patient’s blood type in the most serious, life-threatening situations. Platelets are the clotting portion of blood, needed by many trauma patients as well as cancer patients, and must be transfused within five days of donation.

A sufficient blood supply is critical to being able to provide timely care for all patients in need of lifesaving blood transfusions. It’s the blood on the shelves that helps in times of emergency. Please make an appointment to donate now and help end the emergency blood shortage.