Blood Donations Go Uncollected Due To Winter Weather: American Red Cross

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Severe winter weather has had a tremendous impact on blood donations already this year. The American Red Cross says these affected more than 28,000 fewer donations than needed in November and December.

Twenty-five blood drives across the state were canceled during last week's storm, leaving the Massachusetts Red Cross 681 donations short. The Red Cross provides about 40 percent of the nation's blood supply, and now Red Cross blood products are being distributed to hospitals as fast as donations come in.

Every blood donation can be a life-saver for people in hospitals across the state, Michigan Blood stated.

Platelets are primarily used in the treatment of patients undergoing chemotherapy.

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Eligible individuals are urged to schedule a blood or platelet donation today by using the Red Cross Blood Donor App, visiting redcrossblood.org or calling 1-800-REDCROSS (1-800-733-2767). "Sometimes they'll send a friend or family member in their spot to donate so we don't lose that blood product". A blood donor card or driver's license or two other forms of identification are required at check-in.

Michigan Blood stated there is now an urgent need for all blood types and a special need for O-negative blood, the universal donor, which has dangerously low levels.

"We encourage everyone who can safely come out and donate to do so", said Debbie Bonzak, executive director for LifeShare Community Blood Services in the release. "Your donations truly save the lives of local patients".

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

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