Blood drives canceled due to weather


There have been two blood drive cancellations in two weeks at the American Red Cross in Decatur.  Carl Baker Executive Director of the Mid-Illinois Chapter of the Red Cross said there have been almost 100 cancellations since yesterday until tomorrow in the Midwest Division.

At Decatur's American Red Cross facility, Baker said usually there's a steady flow of people who go in and out to donate blood, but Tuesday it was empty seats, another canceled blood drive.

Despite this cancellation, Baker said blood supplies across the US are adequate.  However, the nation has to maintain current levels in order to keep it that way.  That means blood supplies can't drop below about 3,600 units.  That's where they're at right now.  If a drop happens, supplies will be low.  And with the East Coast still recovering from Hurricane Sandy, blood draws need to be ramped up in other parts of the country.

"Right now 38 percent of the population is eligible to donate blood, but out of that 38 percent only about 8 percent actually donates blood, so a very small portion of the population are actually blood donors," Baker said.

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