The American Red Cross is in urgent need of blood after frigid temperatures caused thousands of blood drives to be cancelled.
The extreme weather and recent government shutdown have caused a shortage of blood across the nation.
“We desperately need blood at this time,” said Kyle Kriegl, the Red Cross Executive Director for the Northwest Wisconsin Chapter.
The American Red Cross has issued an emergency call for blood and platelet donations.
“We have had to cancel over 4600 mobile blood drives nationwide and we’ve also had some closings because of the extreme weather,” Kriegl said.
With all of those donations not collected the Red Cross is facing a blood shortage.
“Typically the Red Cross, we have about a 5 day blood supply and we are below 3 days at this point so it is an emergency appeal,” Kriegl said.
The recent federal government shutdown also impacted their donations.
“Many blood drives at government facilities nationwide were cancelled because there was no staff there,” Kriegl said.
They are asking anyone that is able to give blood to make an appointment and donate.
“The hospitals need the blood because emergencies are still happening,” Kriegl said. “Surgeries are happening so the blood is still needed.”
The blood donation center in Eau Claire is open Friday through Sunday 7 a.m. through 3 p.m. and Monday through Wednesday 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. on E Hamilton Ave. But there are also a number of blood drives coming up in Western Wisconsin over the next couple of weeks.
“I know there is a need for it and it doesn’t cost me anything to do it and it’s just something you should do,” said Roger Davis who was donating blood.
The Red Cross is hoping others will do the same and step up during this time of need.
“It’s great to see people give back because you never know, it might be a family member or a friend or neighbor that needs that blood,” Kriegl said.
To make an appointment click here. or call 1-800-RED CROSS (1-800-733-2767).