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Red Cross in need of blood after winter weather cancels drives

Posted January 31, 2014

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— The American Red Cross is calling for blood and platelet donations after winter weather closed the doors of more than 50 blood drives in the Carolinas Blood Services Region.

Frigid temperatures and winter storms have forced cancellations of more than 600 Red Cross blood drives this month, with nearly 20,000 uncollected blood and platelet donations. Blood donors with types O, A negative and B negative blood, as well as platelet donors, are in particular demand to combat the shortfall.

“It’s the blood products already on the shelves that help save lives when severe weather hits,” Steve Maness, CEO of the Red Cross Carolinas Blood Services Region, said in a statement. “Thanks to generous Red Cross blood and platelet donors, blood products were available for patients who still needed transfusions despite the weather. Now we invite those previously ‘frozen out’ from giving blood or platelets to come in soon.”

Platelet donations are constantly needed because they must be transfused within five days of donation. The key clotting element is often needed by cancer patients.

Potential donors can call 1-800-RED-CROSS (1-800-733-2767) or visit the Red Cross website to make an appointment. A blood donor card, driver’s license or two other forms of identification are required. Donors must meet age, weight and height requirements and be in generally good health to be eligible.

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