Rhode Island Blood Center (RIBC) is declaring a blood emergency after New England saw its first major snowstorm of the winter season. This resulted in the loss of nearly 100 appointments due to lower donor turnout and canceled blood drives.
On average, RIBC needs to collect 250 donations each day to help meet demand for the patients and hospitals we service. Inventory is now at a critically grave level. The region is currently at a 1-to-2-day supply level when it should be at a 5-to-7-day. Blood type O and platelets are at a crisis level of less than a day supply. These alarming levels come following a difficult February, in which blood centers across our enterprise saw some of the worst donation levels in over five years.
“Patients rely on volunteer blood donors for their life-saving treatments,” said Beau Tompkins, Vice President of Rhode Island Blood Center. “Our supply remains at critical levels as demand surges beyond pre-pandemic levels. We need Southern New Englanders to roll up their sleeves and give the gift of life to help us stabilize the supply.”
There is an urgent need for all blood types, especially Blood type O and platelets. This is caused by a few factors. Type O+ is the most common blood type. While O- is the only universal blood type that can be given in cases of emergency. Platelets are most commonly used to help cancer patients.
“Every two seconds someone is in need of blood, and you likely know someone who has needed this lifesaving treatment,” said Caitlin Grimaldi-Flick, Marketing and Communications Manager for Rhode Island Blood Center. “These treatments do not stop due to snowy weather. It is essential that first time and lapsed donors make an appointment during this critical time period.”
During March RIBC is also doing a special promotion to encourage donations during this challenging time. All presenting donors will be entered into a weekly drawing for an e-gift card for Apple or Beats earbuds.
To make an appointment call 401-453-8383 or visit ribc.org.