Red Cross In Need Of Donations After Bad Weather Cancels Blood Drives

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CLEVELAND- The American Red Cross is facing a winter blood shortage and is pleading for blood and platelet donations.

Across the country, 150 blood drives were canceled and 5,500 donations were lost.

A local organization is seeking blood donors after their supply dipped extremely low at the start of the new year. "The Red Cross is doing everything we can to ensure blood products are available for hospital patients during these hard winter months, but we need help from our regular donors - as well as those who are willing to donate for the first time - to give as soon as possible".

Many donors have planned to take part in the day's collection with an appointment, but walk-ins also will be taken on Monday. Then if you want to consider the months of November and December leading up to January we saw 28,000 fewer blood donations.

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While the South Texas Blood and Tissue Center said there is a critical need for blood donations, there is a particularly urgent need for O negative blood.

Central Blood Bank has been this area's nonprofit community blood provider for more than 60 years, and serves patients in 50 hospitals in the Pittsburgh region, including nine western Pennsylvania counties and communities throughout West Virginia and eastern Ohio.

Eligible individuals are urged to schedule a blood or platelet donation today by using the Red Cross Blood Donor App, visiting or calling 1-800-REDCROSS (1-800-733-2767). Officials say it is especially necessary in emergencies when a blood type isn't known. A blood donor card or driver's license or two other forms of identification are required at check-in. They have to be transfused within five days, Lewis said. Power Red donors give a concentrated dose of red blood cells during a single donation, allowing them to maximize their impact.