American Red Cross encourages blood donations after winter storms cancel blood drives


NORWICH, Conn. (WTNH) — The recent snowstorms have canceled a lot of events recently including more than a dozen blood drives. Still, the need for donated blood is constant. 

“Every two seconds in the United States someone needs blood and that doesn’t stop for a disaster or a pandemic,” said Jocelyn Hillard, Regional Communications Director for the American Red Cross.

Because of the pandemic, the Red Cross has instituted new protocols. 

“You can expect to have your temperature taken at the front door, go through a proper medical screening,” said Hillard.

You can also expect to sit farther apart from others who are donating. Many of the beds, which are also cleaned more often and more thoroughly, have gone unused though because of the recent winter storms. 

More than 30 states including Connecticut have been impacted. 

“What that means is we have not collected over 21,000 units across the country,” said Hillard.

In Connecticut alone, more than 15 blood drives have been canceled this past week because of storms. 

“We really need your help in order to resupply and make sure that even if we cancel the blood drive yesterday that we’re able to make up those units in the future,” said Hillard.

The Red Cross is putting out the call for people to donate.

“Anyone who is able to donate, feeling healthy we really encourage you to come today and when it starts to warm up,” said Hillard.

The donation center in Norwich is open every Tuesday and Thursday from 12:30 p.m. to 6:15 p.m. You can also go on to find a blood drive near you.

People are encouraged to register online and if a drive is cancelled to reschedule. 

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