Weather, flu, hitting blood supplies hard

(WTNH/Kent Pierce)

FARMINGTON, Conn. (WTNH) – The winter weather on the way is not good news for the state’s Red Cross blood donations. Dozens of blood drives have already been canceled, and that is not the only problem. Add in the terrible flu season, and it is like a one-two punch to the blood supply.

Nasty winter weather can close schools, delay work and cancel all kinds of activities, even really important ones.

“Right here in Connecticut last month we had to cancel 19 blood drives, causing more than 500 units of blood and platelets to go uncollected,” said Stefanie Arcangelo, the Chief Communications Officer for the American Red Cross of Connecticut and Rhode Island.

Related: Red Cross holding blood donations in February to replenish supply

Across the country, the Red Cross had to cancel 600 blood drives due to bad weather. They say the cancellations resulted in over 17,500 uncollected blood and platelet donations nationwide. The weather is not the only issue this year, however.

If you have a cold or the flu, you’re supposed to wait until you’re healthy to donate blood, but this year’s flu seems to hang on for days and weeks, leaving even regular blood donors to cancel their appointments. The Red Cross is meeting demand right now.

“The great thing about the American Red Cross is we are a national blood system,” Arcaneglo said. “That means we can take blood from across the country and put the right unit where it needs to go to help that patient in need.”

According to the Red Cross, the organization is urging healthy donors of all blood types to donate blood to help maintain supply for those in need, but the looming shortage is affecting most parts of the country, and blood only lasts on a shelf for 42 days, so new supply has to come in, no matter what the weather.

Related Content: Fatal flu season is not over yet

“The need for blood is constant. Every two seconds, someone in the U.S. needs blood, and it doesn’t matter what time of year, that’s always true, and so it’s important that, when the weather is nice that you do make that appointment, and if you are battling the cold or the flu, that you wait, but then make your appointment when you are well enough to do so.”

The organization says you can make an appointment to donate this winter by visiting redcrossblood.org or call 1-800-RED CROSS (1-800-733-2767).

Below are the list of upcoming blood donation opportunities from Feb. 16 to the 28 (by county):

Litchfield County

  • Canaan – 2/27/2018: 1 p.m. to 6 p.m., St. Joseph’s Parish Center, 2 Daisy Hill Road
  • Kent – 2/20/2018: 11:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., Kent School, 23 North Main Street
  • New Milford – 2/26/2018: 8 a.m. to 1 p.m., Canterbury School, Aspetuck Avenue
  • Watertown – 2/20/2018: 1:45 p.m. to 6: 45 p.m., First Congregational Church, 40 DeForrest Street
  • Winsted – 2/22/2018: 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Northwestern Connecticut Community College, Park Place East/Route 8

New Haven County

  • Branford – 2/21/2018: 9 a.m. to 2 p.m., Branford Hall Career Institute, One Summit Place
  • Derby – 2/16/2018: 7:45 a.m. to 12:45 p.m., Griffin Hospital, 130 Division Street
  • East Haven – 2/26/2018: 1:30 p.m. to 6:30 p.m., Our Lady of Pompeii Church Hall, 355 Foxon Road
  • Hamden –
    • 2/16/2018: 11 a.m. to 4:45 p.m., Quinnipiac University, 275 Mount Carmel Avenue
    • 2/16/2018: 12:15 p.m. to 6 p.m., Whitneyville Cultural Commons, 1253 Whitney Avenue
    • 2/22/2018: 1:45 p.m. to 7:30 p.m., Spring Glen Church, 1825 Whitney Avenue
    • 2/23/2018: 12:15 p.m. to 6 p.m., Whitneyville Cultural Commons, 1253 Whitney Avenue
  • Madison – 2/27/2018: 12:45 p.m. to 6 p.m., First Congregational Church – Madison, 26 Meetinghouse Lane
  • Meriden –
    •  2/19/2018: 9 a.m. to 2 p.m., Midstate Medical, 435 Lewis Avenue
    • 2/21/2018: 1 p.m. to 6 p.m., First United Methodist, 159 East Main St
  • Middlebury – 2/24/2018: 8 a.m. to1 p.m., Middlebury Congregational United Church of Christ, 1242 Whittemore Road
  • Milford –
    • 2/16/2018: 1 p.m. to 6:45 p.m., Cornerstone Christian Center, 349 Wheelers Farms Road
    • 2/22/2018: 1 p.m. to 6 p.m., The Academy, 140 Gulf St.
  • New Haven –
    • 2/20/2018: 1 p.m. to 6 p.m., New Haven Firehouse Training Center, 230 Ella Grasso Blvd
    • 2/27/2018: 11 a.m. to 4:45 p.m., Michael J. Adanti Student Center/SCSU, 501 Crescent Street
    • 2/28/2018: 11 a.m. to 4:45 p.m., Michael J. Adanti Student Center/SCSU, 501 Crescent Street
  • Southbury – 2/24/2018: 8 a.m. to 1 p.m., Southbury Fire Department, 461 Main Street South
  • Wallingford – 2/17/2018: 9 a.m. to 2 p.m., Zandri’s Stillwood Inn, 1074 South Colony Road
  • Waterbury – 2/19/2018: 11 a.m. to 4 p.m., Village at East Farms, 180 Scott Road
  • Wolcott  – 2/17/2018: 7:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m., St Pius X Church, 525 Woodtick Road
  • Woodbridge – 2/27/2018: 1 p.m. to 6 p.m., Woodbridge Fire Department, 100 Center Road

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