Red Cross In Need Of Donations After Bad Weather Cancels Blood Drives

Red Cross In Need Of Donations After Bad Weather Cancels Blood Drives

Todd Kulman - with the Red Cross of MI - says the severe winter weather over the past few weeks has been a major cause of the shortage, along with high levels of sick people during this cold and flu season. Their shelf life is very short - only five days - while whole blood or red cell donations can last 42 days. More than 150 blood drives were forced to cancel.

A major blood shortage is being reported by the American Red Cross, and officials are asking the public to help by donating.

January is National Blood Donor Month - one of the most challenging times of year to collect enough blood and platelet donations to meet patient needs.

Donations are needed right now so that patients can continue to receive lifesaving treatments. By giving platelets regularly, donors can help patients kick cancer and recover from other life-threatening illnesses and injuries.

Types O negative and O positive blood are the most important due to their universal tendencies, the press release said.

Individuals who are as young as 16 years of age (with parental consent), weigh at least 110 pounds and are in general good health may be eligible to donate blood, according to the release.

Eligible donors with types O, A negative and B negative blood are urged to make a Power Red donation, where available. However, Kulman says anyone who is sick should delay donating blood until they feel better. Blood Systems is one of the nation's oldest and largest nonprofit community blood service providers, now serving more than 1,000 hospital and health care partners across 28 states to provide comprehensive transfusion medicine services for patients in need.

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