Blood donations are critical during the holiday season, with donated blood at or below a two-day supply in the some parts of Pennsylvania.
There are several factors that have caused shortages. Marianne Spampinato, regional communications manager for the Greater Alleghenies Region Red Cross Blood Center in Johnstown, says this time of year is usually not good for receiving blood donations. She cites schools being out of session, where the center brings in more than 25 percent of its blood donations, regular donors being on vacation and inclement weather like snow or ice that cancel blood drives.
The Greater Alleghenies Regional Red Cross Blood Center serves more than 100 hospitals in parts of six states, including many southwestern and central Pennsylvania counties. They do not serve Allegheny or Washington counties.
On the other hand, Lisa Cassidy, a spokeswoman from the Pittsburgh Central Blood Bank, says they are not facing inventory shortages at this time. She says although the holiday season bring in fewer donations, there is not an urgent need for blood there.