American Red Cross: Critical Need for Donors

DONATE NOW Blood Service mascot Billy Blood Drop is looking for some

The nonprofit organization was forced to cancel 25 blood drives across MA, causing almost 700 scheduled blood donations to go uncollected, according to a news release Monday.

The American Red Cross on Monday expressed an urgent need for blood and platelet donors of all blood types to donate to help erase a significant winter blood shortage.

While supplies are adequate locally, the Red Cross cancelled more than 150 blood drives in the northeast and eastern United States due to harsh winter weather, said Red Cross spokeswoman Navtividad Lewis.

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The need is especially critical on the East Coast which has been socked by frigid temperatures. The American Red Cross says these affected more than 28,000 fewer donations than needed in November and December.

This network works in tandem, moving lifesaving donations throughout the system - once local patient needs are met - to help ensure blood is available when and where it's needed most, the release said.

Nationally, the Red Cross, via donations, provides about 40 percent of the country's blood supply.

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Eligible donors are strongly encouraged to make an appointment as soon as possible for an upcoming local blood drive. Students can donate once they're 16 years old and a lot of blood comes from high schools. Blood donors should bring photo ID.

Type AB: The plasma type that can be transfused to nearly everyone and can be donated through a platelet or plasma donation, where available, or during a regular blood donation. Daily, the organization collects more than 13,000 blood donations for patients at 2,600 US hospitals.

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