For the Cumberland Times-News
CUMBERLAND — Officials of the American Red Cross, Greater Alleghenies Blood Services Region, have expressed concern about the combined effects of recent wintry weather and widespread colds and flu on its efforts to meet collection targets and patient need.
“More healthy blood donors of all blood types are needed, particularly those with type O negative and B negative blood. Colds and flu may be contributing factors to an increased number of donor appointment cancellations,” said John Hagins, CEO, Greater Alleghenies Region.
The recent extreme temperatures and periods of snow have resulted in blood drive cancellations and low donor turnout in many portions of the 100-county blood services region. “Several blood drive sponsors have reported that their usual donors have said the weather has prevented them from donating blood,” Hagins added.
Hagins emphasized, “Donating blood will not cause you to be more susceptible to the flu. Your resistance to the flu will not be compromised simply by giving blood. There is no waiting period to donate blood after receiving a flu vaccine, as long as you are feeling healthy and well the day of donation.”
With warmer weather forecasted the remainder of the month, the Red Cross continues to schedule blood drives.
• Monday, 11:30 a.m. to 5 p.m., Frostburg Village Nursing Care Center and 1 to 6 p.m., Zion Lutheran Church, Accident.
• Tuesday, noon to 6 p.m., Grace United Methodist Church, Somerset, Pa.
• Wednesday, noon to 6 p.m., Potomac Center, Romney, W.Va.
• Thursday, noon to 6 p.m.,Terra Alta (W.Va.) Ambulance Building.
To schedule an appointment to donate, call 800-RED CROSS or go to redcrossblood.org for more information. Individuals who are 17 years of age (16 with parental permission in some states), meet weight and height requirements (110 pounds or more, depending on their height) and are in generally good health may be eligible to donate blood.
Donors should bring their Red Cross blood donor card or other form of positive identification.