(UNDATED) - The severe cold and winter weather the last few weeks is having a negative effect on the available blood supply for Central Indiana hospitals.
Lucy Wehking is a spokesperson for the Indiana Blood Center, and she says when the Polar Vortex and other cold weather hits the state, it has a significant impact on agencies such as hers, because people stay inside and don't want to take a chance of driving to a location just to give blood.
"After that first week, those first three days were tough," Wehking said. "We had to close some of our operations but thankfully by that Sunday we had restored our supply."
Wehking says they were able to get that supply back because of their loyal donor base.
"Letting everyone know about the current situation so if people could safely travel to one of our donor centers or one of our mobile blood drives that we were hosting to really come and its only an hour of someone's time."
The Indiana Blood Center makes 550 units of blood available to 60 area hospitals on a daily basis.
You can find donation locations and make an appointment with Indiana Blood Center at www.donorpoint.org.
All blood types are needed to ensure an adequate blood supply. Eligible donors with type O negative, O positive, A negative or B negative blood are especially encouraged to give.
The Red Cross thanks all those who roll up a sleeve each year to help save lives because the stability of the nation's blood supply relies on the generosity of volunteer blood and platelet donors. It is important for eligible donors to make and keep appointments to help patients in need.
Make an appointment to donate blood you can make a donation with the Red Cross at redcrossblood.org or 1-800-RED CROSS.
Upcoming blood donation opportunities:
- Bloomington - 1/30/2014 - Indiana University, Ballantine Hall (Red Cross Bus) at 500 University Road from Noon to 5 p.m.
- Bloomington - 2/3/2014 - Indiana University, Wells Library 1320 E. 10th St., from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.
- Bloomington - 2/5/2013 - Indiana University, School of Residence Hall (Red Cross Bus) 201 N. Rose Ave. from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.
- Paoli - 2/1/2014 - Orange County Community Health Fair (Red Cross Bus) 1075 N. Sandy Hook Rd. from 9 a.m. 2 p.m.
- Orleans - 2/3/2014 - Orleans Christian Fellowship Hall, Corner of Ind. 37 and Jackson Street from 1 p.m. to 6 p.m.
How to donate blood
Simply call 1-800-RED CROSS (1-800-733-2767) or visit redcrossblood.org 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 (16 with parental consent in Indiana and Kentucky ), 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.
About the American Red Cross
The American Red Cross shelters, feeds and provides emotional support to victims of disasters; supplies about 40 percent of the nation's blood; teaches skills that save lives; provides international humanitarian aid; and supports military members and their families. The Red Cross is a not-for-profit organization that depends on volunteers and the generosity of the American public to perform its mission. For more information, please visit redcross.org or join our blog at http://blog.redcross.org.
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