Dangerous winter weather intensifying emergency blood shortage


Jan. 24, 2024 — The American Red Cross continues to experience an emergency blood shortage as severe winter weather has further impacted the ability to rebuild the blood supply. Blood and platelet donors are urged to give now to help ensure lifesaving medical procedures are not delayed.

The national blood supply remains at critically low levels. Blood drives have been canceled in nearly every state where the Red Cross collects blood. As a result, nearly 15,000 blood and platelet donations have gone uncollected this month alone. In addition to dangerous road conditions, many Americans have dealt with flight and shipping delays, and the Red Cross is no different. Snow, ice, and extreme temperatures have made it tougher to move vital blood products across the Red Cross network, affecting deliveries to hospitals in some locations.

As much of the country warms up this week, individuals are urged to make an appointment now to give blood or platelets by using the Red Cross Blood Donor App, visiting RedCrossBlood.org, or calling 1-800-RED CROSS (1-800-733-2767). As a thank-you, all those who come to give Feb. 1-29, 2024, will receive a $20 Amazon.com Gift Card by email. Visit RedCrossBlood.org/Heart for details.

The nation is currently facing the lowest number of people giving blood in 20 years. When fewer people donate blood, any disruption to blood donations – like recent weather systems – can have a huge effect on the availability of blood products and dramatic consequences for those in need of emergency blood transfusion. Generous blood donors are vital to ensuring those in need of transfusions have access to lifesaving care.

New Blood Donor Rewards program

Since announcing an emergency blood shortage earlier this month, thousands of donors across the country have answered the call to help. In appreciation for all those who take the time to help save lives, the Red Cross is pleased to launch an all-new Blood Donor Rewards program. This program offers a new way for the Red Cross to say thank you for the generous donations that are critical to patients counting on lifesaving care. All donors will now earn points for their donations that accumulate each time they roll up a sleeve to give. Donors automatically started earning points on Jan. 1, 2024, and they can redeem points any time of year to receive e-gift cards or save them to redeem and claim an exclusive Red Cross merchandise item in the next calendar year. For more information, visit RedCrossBlood.org/Rewards.

About the American Red Cross:

The American Red Cross shelters, feeds, and provides comfort to victims of disasters; supplies about 40% of the nation’s blood; teaches skills that save lives; distributes international humanitarian aid; and supports veterans, military members, and their families. The Red Cross is a nonprofit organization that depends on volunteers and the generosity of the American public to deliver its mission. For more information, please visit redcross.org or CruzRojaAmericana.org, or follow us on social media.