Heartland Blood Centers serve portions of northern Illinois and Indiana. Winter and summer months usually experience lower numbers of donations, but the extreme cold and snow this year affected donations more than usual. Matt Queen is a spokesman for Heartland. He says between Jan. 27 and Jan. 31, the organization reports 19 community blood drives canceled because of the weather.
“It really wasn’t safe to be outside of your house for more than a few minutes at a time," Queen said. "That obviously means that fewer people are going to go out to do anything and it’s really a serious situation when people aren’t coming in to donate blood.”
Queen says their organization is in particular need of platelets and the O negative blood type. Meanwhile, the Mississippi Valley and Central Illinois Blood Centers announced the weather led to more than 2,200 donations over the past three weeks.