The Community Blood Bank has seen the blood supply drop to critical levels in the past 72 hours and the new storm forecast could spell real problems for area hospitals that are already concerned about dwindling supplies.
The past two weeks between 250 and 300 donations were lost due to canceled blood drives. Those days simply cannot be made up as schedules are full months in advance. Only additional donors can pull the region out of its shortage.
A blood drive is scheduled from 1 to 5 p.m. Wednesday at New Directions in Randolph that is open to the public. Photo identification is required, but no appointment is needed. People with Type O and Type A blood are especially encouraged to come give blood.
"I've never seen a winter like this one," said Kathy Hastings of the Community Blood Bank. "We just can't seem to catch a break. We haven't had a shortage in February in a long time, let alone a critical one."
The Community Blood Bank of Northwestern Pennsylvania and Western New York is licensed by the federal Food and Drug Administration and holds permits from the New York Department of Health and the Pennsylvania Department of Health.