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

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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.

Twenty-five blood drives across the state were canceled during last week's storm, leaving the Massachusetts Red Cross 681 donations short. More than 150 blood drives were forced to cancel.

The American Red Cross is asking people in Central Washington to donate blood in response to potential shortages in the eastern United States. The American Red Cross says these affected more than 28,000 fewer donations than needed in November and December.

This has put additional pressure on the nation's blood supply (especially for type O-negative and platelets), which is already trying to recover from lower donor turnout over the holidays. If the current trend of bad weather continues without more blood donors coming in, Michigan Blood's inventory could drop to critical levels.

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Platelets: The clotting portion of blood primarily given to cancer patients during treatment and always in great demand.

Eligible donors must be in good health, at least 17 years old and weigh at least 115 pounds.

"It's an important blood type for emergency situations", Lewis said. She says blood is a perishable product, and you can donate every 56 days.

About the American Red Cross:The American Red Cross shelters, feeds and provides emotional support to victims of disasters; supplies about 40 percent of the nation's blood; teaches skills that save lives; provides global humanitarian aid; and supports military members and their families.

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