Red Cross facing blood shortage due to extreme weather

"Any one pint can save up to three lives, since we can separate red blood cells from the platelets and the plasma, but there are times when people need many, many units just to have hope of survival".

With the help of Eddie Scott, account manager of donor recruitment for the American Red Cross Northern New England Region Blood Service, Scarborough High School junior Francesca Suster organized a blood drive at the high school to replenish the blood supply during the Red Cross' most critical time of the year.

Ryan Edsall, account manager of donor recruitment for American Red Cross of North Central West Virginia, said more than 1,400 units of blood were lost between January 2 and January 10 in this region alone. Seasonal illnesses have also impacted blood donations by contributing to more than 28,000 fewer donations than were needed in November and December.

While at the center one day, she was looking over a list of blood drives in this part of ME and noticed Scarborough was basically absent from the list. Donors can save up to 15 minutes when they donate blood by using RapidPass.

The only requirements to donate blood are a minimum age of 17, good health and a minimum donor weight of 110 pounds. That means more than 5,500 blood and platelet donations have gone uncollected.

Welch said that Type O negative blood was the most needed because it can be transfused to nearly anyone and is commonly used in trauma situations.

Donated blood is used to help accident victims and people in surgery, especially emergency trauma situations.

Type B negative can be transfused to Rh-positive or negative patients.

They are also searching for blood transportation specialists.

Vanessa Coleman