Storm cuts back blood donations

The American Red Cross reports that inclement weather on Monday and Tuesday, Jan. 10 and 11, has resulted in more than 1,600 units of blood and platelets that could not be collected due to blood donation center closures, cancelled blood drives and the inability of donors to attend blood drives.

The American Red Cross is urging all donors to donate as soon as weather and travel conditions permit. There is a special need for type O and type B blood donors.

Winter weather often causes delays and cancellations for schools, work and community events. But it also means cancellations of vitally important blood donation opportunities. Blood donation is especially important during the winter months when inclement weather can cancel blood drives and seasonal colds and flu may keep donors at home.

The American Red Cross Southern Blood Services Region provides lifesaving blood to more than 120 hospitals and must have 1,200 people give blood and platelets each weekday to meet hospital demand. Blood can be safely donated every 56 days. Platelets can be given safely every two weeks, up to 24 times a year.

Most healthy people age 17 and older, or 16 with parental consent, who weigh at least 110 pounds, are eligible to donate blood and platelets. Donors who are 18 and younger must also meet specific height and weight requirements.

For more information or to find a blood donation opportunity near you, please call 1-800-RED CROSS or visit redcrossblood.org.

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