Published: Tue, January 09, 2018
Medical | By Josefina Yates

American Red Cross makes urgent request for blood and platelet donations

American Red Cross makes urgent request for blood and platelet donations

As record-breaking, frigid temperatures continue in the Midwest, South and along the East Coast, the number of people able to come out and give blood is significantly impacted, according to a news release from LifeShare Community Blood Services in Elyria.

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.

Severe winter weather has caused 150 blood drives to cancel, meaning over 5,500 blood and platelet donations go uncollected, the American Red Cross reported. There's also a Blood Donor App. "The need for blood is constant no matter the weather or time of year". Donors can save about 20 minutes by completing their health history the day they donate using Donor Pass at "That's why we're reaching out to our community to help ensure a ready supply of blood for patients who depend on it". Accident and burn victims, heart surgery and organ transplant patients, and patients receiving treatment for leukemia, cancer or sickle cell disease may all require blood to help save their lives. Platelet and type O negative and B negative blood donations - in particular - are critically needed right now.

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Types O negative and O positive blood are the most important due to their universal tendencies, the press release said.

Twenty-five blood drives across the state were canceled during last week's storm, leaving the Massachusetts Red Cross 681 donations short. It can take 24 to 36 hours to collect, test, process and distribute blood where it's needed. Any healthy person 17 or older (or 16 with parental consent) may be eligible to donate, although there are height and weight restrictions for people 16 to 18 years old.

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