Red Cross Has ‘Emergency Need’ For Blood Amid Freezing Cold Polar Vortex

Jillian Goldstone (TC)'s picture

To us the recent drop in temperature meant a historic snow day at the University of Michigan (probably filled with plenty of time indoors to relax and stay home). However, for the Red Cross, this weather meant hundreds of blood drives were canceled, leading the American Red Cross to experience what it said was an “emergency need” for blood.

In fact, about 450 Red Cross blood drives were canceled across 30 states this month, largely due to winter weather. An estimated 14,000 blood donations were not gathered as a result ― with this week alone accounting for 75 percent of the uncollected donations.  These cancelled blood drives were even more detrimental to the organization because about 30 blood drives hosted by federal offices were canceled during the shutdown, leaving more than 900 donations uncollected.

Every two seconds, someone in the U.S. needs blood, making this an extremely important issue to the entire country. It’s interesting how not only can we as a society have a large impact on the environment, but the environment can also have a large impact on society. As you read this article, please consider the following questions:

  • What is your reaction to the shortage in donations?
  • What solutions do you have in mind to respond?
  • What are some ways to mitigate the risk associated with weather?
  • What role do you think the government should play?