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Recent winter weather leads to “dangerously low” blood supply for Community Blood Center


Last week’s snowstorm impacted just about every corner of the state.

It led to snow days for school and many businesses also chose to stay closed to keep people safe and off the snowy roads.

It also meant the Community Blood Center had to cancel some of its blood donation drives.

“Patients who are requiring transfusions don’t really have the luxury staying at home and not getting their transfusions so while blood donations were about a third of what they normally are between the 21st and 23rd, transfusions were pretty much at the same rate. That really reduced our inventory to where we would classify it as dangerously low,” said Kris Belanger, Vice President, Operations and Chief Operating Officer, The Community Blood Center.

CBC supplies blood to more than 40 hospitals including ones in the Northwoods.

Blood is extremely perishable. Platelets last 7 days at most and red cells are good for 42 days.

Belanger says on top of that, blood donation numbers haven’t bounced back from pre-covid days.

“Blood donation is a very social activity. It certainly was impacted. It’s slowly coming back, but it hasn’t quite yet resumed its pre-pandemic levels,” she said. “When all of the sudden have donations drop by two-thirds that takes an already pretty tight blood supply and reduces it further.”

People are being asked to schedule appointments to donate as soon as possible.

You can visit communityblood.org or call (800) 280-4102 to schedule a blood donation.

Katie Thoresen is WXPR's News Director/Vice President.
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