Red Cross: Power outages create more need for blood
July 11, 2012 ·
Recent power outages have drained blood banks across the state. Blood drives are being held to help restock the shelves but the American Red Cross says it will take time to restock.
Daniel Jude is anxious but reclined in the ballroom at Concord University as he waits for the phlebotomist to connect his arm to a machine that sits beside him.
"I’ve never done this thing before I’ve just gave whole blood," he says.
“It’s double blood they take plasma and my blood at the same time because I’m O'negative and I guess I’m eligible for it."
This is the fourth time Jude has given blood. He says sharing his blood feels like the right thing to do.
“It’s scary at first because I actually have a fear of needles and blood," he said, "but I just had a little image of people that I’m saving and that was the way that go me through it.”
The American Red Cross says blood at blood at banks is down 10 percent for several reasons. The summer time poses several challenges. High school and colleges are not in regular session and that accounts for 20 to 25 percent of annual collections.
Officials say as people in West Virginia and across the region went without power, they addressed basic needs. Now officials hope residents will make this a priority.
Across the room a woman scans the bar codes on tubes and bags that will soon hold human blood. Richard Smith is squeezing a red ball as he prepares for the needle.
“It wasn’t a hard decision," he said. "I think everyone should do something at least I’m doing something. Just trying to help.”
Red Cross officials say blood drives like this will help but the problem is so bad that it will take weeks to restock blood banks and rebuild inventories.
To find a blood drive near you go click here