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Donors Needed to Replenish Red Cross Blood Supply

Donors Needed to Replenish Red Cross Blood Supply

By FOX 47 News . CREATED Feb 4, 2014

Lansing, MI—The American Red Cross needs blood and platelet donors to help restock the blood supply this February. Severe winter weather throughout January across much of the country forced the cancellation of about 770 Red Cross blood drives, resulting in more than 25,000 uncollected blood and platelet donations.

“Blood products were distributed to hospitals as quickly as the donations came in,” said Jim Flickema, CEO of the Red Cross Great Lakes Blood Services Region. “The extraordinary number of cancellations in January was the equivalent of the Red Cross having to shut down its national operations for more than an entire day.”

On average, the Red Cross must collect about 15,000 units of blood every day for patients at approximately 2,700 hospitals and transfusion centers across the country. With additional winter weather already forecast for parts of the country in the next week or two, all blood types are currently needed to ensure a sufficient blood supply is available for patients.

There is an urgent need for blood types O positive, O negative, A negative and B negative. Eligible donors with these blood types are strongly encouraged to make an appointment to give in the coming days.

Platelets, a key clotting component of blood often needed by cancer patients, must be transfused within five days of donation, so donations are constantly needed. Red blood cells, the oxygen carrying component of blood, are the most widely transfused blood product and must be transfused within 42 days.

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