Due to the recent weather conditions in Bend, Red Cross blood banks have been lower than ever in recent years.
“The levels are critical” stated Renee Bumblis, a practitioner present to assist in donating blood during the Red Cross blood drive at Central Oregon Community College on Feb. 3 2017. This has been primarily due to the mass amounts of snow coupled with road conditions.
Red Cross has had to cancel many drives this winter due to the weather, but not only that, there have been countless car accidents requiring vast use of the blood currently in the banks.
While the Oregon Department of Transportation won’t have official statistics for the accidents in 2016 for months, it was reported in late December that ODOT has called driving without regard to weather conditions one of the main causes of these car accidents.
Bumblis said that the goal during their most recent blood drive was to receive 24 units of blood, with each donation able to save up to three lives. However, Bumblis also mentioned that the shelf life for donated blood is only 56 days, so the need for donors is constant, but only 10 percent of the population is typically willing to donate blood.
The Red Cross targets blood types O-, O+, A-, and B- because they are the blood types in highest demand. Bumblis said that almost any healthy person can donate blood. While donating, the practitioners do watch iron levels constantly in donors to ensure safety.
Donating blood can also be done at the American Red Cross’ Bend Blood Donation Center located on Bond Street next to Bend Memorial Clinic.