Blood donations tend to be less frequent in the winter months, but this season's storms and frigid temperature stretches have hit Community Blood Center supplies – and supplies nationwide – especially hard.
“Winter is kind of a struggle for us all the time, but this winter has been a little more so because we've had so much snow,” said Ben McFerron, director of CBC's donor center in Blue Springs. “We've definitely seen donations drop.”
“The last several weeks have been really quiet. Just here in Blue Springs we've seen about a 50 percent drop in what we'd normally see at this time.”
The adverse weather at times has canceled blood drives and thinned walk-in traffic, leading blood centers to renew pleas for donations. The Community Blood Center needs about 500 donors each day to meet area hospitals' needs.
“The biggest for us will always be the O types, particularly O-negative as the universal donor, but we also need platelet donors,” McFerron said. “We're at a spot where we can't pinpoint any particular types; we're low on all fronts.”
The Community Blood Center has donation sites around the metro area, including the one in Blue Springs at 1124 S.W. U.S. 40, which is open 7 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Thursday and 7 a.m. to 1 p.m. Friday through Sunday. The Kansas City Donor Center is at 4040 Main St.
Giving blood usually takes an hour or less. Giving platelets and other blood components can take two hours or more.
Those interested in donating can sign up by visiting savealifenow.org or by calling 1-877-468-6844. For questions about donation eligibility, call 1-800-688-0900. Bring your donor card or remember your donor number if possible.