Red Cross Sees Low Blood Donations Due to Flu

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When it comes to giving blood, you would have a hard time finding someone more giving than Craig Taylor. He gives every 56 days, when he has enough red blood cells, but Taylor had to cancel his last appointment because he was sick.

"I was stuffed up and taking Alka-Seltzer and all that kind of stuff," said Taylor. "I decided I better not give blood."

It is the same situation for many would-be donors, this year, as the flu season has forced many to cancel their appointments to give blood. The American Red Cross is seeing the effects at blood drives around the state.

"We have seen some blood drives that had fewer than normal turnout, as far as our donors are concerned," said Todd Kulman, Communications Manager for the Red Cross.

While the blood supply remains is stable for now, Kulman says that could change if more people get the flu.

"We have to collect 650 units of blood a day, here, in the Great Lakes Region, which is 65 counties," said Kulman. "If people have the flu and some donors aren't getting out as much, we have to make that up."

Which is why the Red Cross is urging people to get out and donate.

"We are asking any of our donors, who are healthy to donate, to get out there and do so. Those who have made appointments, we ask that they keep them and if they cannot make it to their appointment, we ask that they find somebody to donate in their place," said Kulman.

Because, as Kulman puts it, there is no telling how long the supply will last.

"What is on the shelves today, might not necessarily be there four days from now," said Kulman.

Anyone looking for a blood drive locally can visit and type in their zip code.

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