Red Cross issues urgent call for blood, platelet donors

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The Red Cross says they are in "urgent need" of blood donations after bad weather halted some of their collection efforts.

"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.

In North Carolina alone, 23 blood drives were cancelled or closed early due to last week's winter storm, with almost 600 uncollected donations.

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With January being National Blood Donor Month, the American Red Cross hopes blood and platelet donors of all blood types make an appointment to help the shortage. The American Red Cross says these affected more than 28,000 fewer donations than needed in November and December.

We Are Blood is experiencing a critical blood shortage and is in need of donations, especially types O negative and O positive blood, according to organization officials.

"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.

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Types O negative and O positive blood are the most important due to their universal tendencies, the press release said. This network works in tandem, moving lifesaving donations throughout the system-once local patient needs are met-to help ensure blood is available when and where it's needed most.

Type B negative: The blood type that can be transfused to type B Rh-positive and negative patients.

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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