Severe weather cancels blood drives, leads to increased need

City blood stocks are desperate

City blood stocks are desperate

Severe winter weather has had a major impact, with more than 150 blood drives nationwide forced to cancel due to severe cold and snow. Their shelf life is very short-only 5 days-while whole blood or red cell donations can last 42 days.

The American Red Cross urgently needs blood. The American Red Cross says these affected more than 28,000 fewer donations than needed in November and December.

The Red Cross says they will be accepting all types of blood but especially need Platelets, Type O Negative, Type B negative, and Type AB.

"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. If the current trend of bad weather continues without more blood donors coming in, Michigan Blood's inventory could drop to critical levels.

Platelets are primarily used in the treatment of patients undergoing chemotherapy. Blood Systems is one of the nation's oldest and largest nonprofit community blood service providers, now serving more than 1,000 hospital and health care partners across 28 states to provide comprehensive transfusion medicine services for patients in need.

Eligible donors must be in good health, at least 17 years old and weigh at least 115 pounds. By giving platelets regularly, donors can help patients kick cancer and recover from other life-threatening illnesses and injuries.

Type B negative can be transfused to Rh-positive or negative patients. The Red Cross is a not-for-profit organization that depends on volunteers and the generosity of the American public to perform its mission.

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