Blood shortage prompts urgent call for blood, platelet donations

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"Last week's massive winter storm had a significant impact on our blood supply with blood drives cancelled from SC to ME", said Chris Hrouda, president, Red Cross Blood Services.

Eligible donors with types O, A negative and B negative blood are urged to make a Power Red donation, where available.

Blood and platelet donations go to medical patients who many times are receiving or have received lifesaving treatments. The Red Cross says that means thousands of possible donations were not collected. They have to be transfused within five days, Lewis said. O-negative, the universal blood type that's always in high demand, can be given to patients of any blood type.

The Red Cross is sending out an urgent appeal to donors to schedule an appointment to donate by using the free Blood Donor App, visiting www.redcrossblood.org, or by calling 1-800-Red Cross.

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"We know the weather conditions can discourage people from going out and cause them to cancel appointments, but we really need people to keep those appointments", said Kristen Lane, marketing lead for Central Blood Bank. If the current trend of bad weather continues without more blood donors coming in, Michigan Blood's inventory could drop to critical levels.

"But as a new year begins, our need for regular blood donations to help meet patient needs continues".

The American Red Cross's supply is running lower than usual.

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