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Winter Weather Having Impact On Local Blood Banks

PITTSBURGH (KDKA) - The old principal of supply and demand can impact the price you pay for certain products, but some items are always in demand.

The month of January was especially hard some local blood banks.

At the Central Blood Bank, collection efforts took a hit during January thanks to three main factors.

"I think it would be a combination of the weather, the holidays and the flu season that have had an impact on our collection," Tamara Kilgore of the Central Blood Bank said.

Drives like one at Avonworth High School are critical to having a safe supply of blood products.

"It saves lives. It's needed. I know some of our teachers have had blood transfusions so that's why," Avonworth teacher Jen Wickert said.

All it takes is a cancellation or a two-hour delay to take a blood drive and shut it down for a day. That means the number of units available could be sliced significantly.

Recently, it has been weather in other parts of the country has slowed the delivery of new donations to the hospitals and medical community.

"That is a challenge for us because the blood collected here is tested in Chicago. So for instance, the blood that we collected over the weekend, it wasn't tested in time because we weren't able to get the tubes to Chicago and the information back to us with the snowstorm that they have had the past couple of days," Kilgore said.

A record number of flu cases in Allegheny County certainly doesn't help - making it critical to give as often as you can.

"It is critical that our donors come in on a regular basis, when they are eligible, so that when that trauma case does arrive, we are there to be support and provide the transfused products to the patient in need," Kilgore said.

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