Red Cross calls for healthy blood donors

Local blood drives planned

OHIO VALLEY — Record-breaking cold and winter storms across much of the U.S. have had a significant impact on blood donations. The American Red Cross is urging healthy individuals, especially those with type O blood, to give now to ensure blood products are available for patient emergencies when help can’t wait.

Extreme winter weather has forced the cancellation of hundreds of Red Cross blood drives in about 30 states and caused more than 15,000 blood and platelet donations to go uncollected.

Every day thousands of patients rely on lifesaving blood donations. The need for blood is constant, even during snowstorms and the COVID-19 pandemic. To help ensure lifesaving patient care isn’t impacted, individuals are urged to make appointments to donate in the coming days and weeks by downloading the Red Cross Blood Donor App, visiting, calling 1-800-RED CROSS (1-800-733-2767) or enabling the Blood Donor Skill on any Alexa Echo device.

Tina Rocco knows firsthand how important it is to have blood on hospital shelves. After welcoming baby Gemma by cesarean section, she began hemorrhaging badly and was rushed back into the operating room. “I was later told it was several pints of blood and an amazing doctor that saved my life,” Rocco said. “That allowed me to hold my first daughter and go home all together as a family of three.”

Before that day, Rocco hadn’t known anyone who needed blood transfusions. Now, this grateful mother says, “You truly never know when you, or someone you love, might need it.”

Upcoming blood donation opportunities Feb. 22-March 15 include:

Mason County

Point Pleasant — March 10, noon-5:30 p.m., Pleasant Valley Hospital Wellness Center, 2520 Valley Drive.

Gallia County

Gallipolis — Feb. 24, 1:30-6 p.m., River of Life United Methodist Church, 35 Hillview.

Meigs County

Racine — March 1, 8:30 a.m.-1:30 p.m., Southern Local High School Gym, 920 Elm Street.

Information provided by the American Red Cross.

Local blood drives planned