American Red Cross makes urgent request for blood and platelet donations

09 January, 2018, 01:02 | Author: Nina Hammond
  • DONATE NOW Blood Service mascot Billy Blood Drop is looking for some

The American Red Cross is issuing an urgent call for blood and platelet donors Monday to help tackle a winter blood shortage.

In North Carolina alone, 23 blood drives were cancelled or closed early due to last week's winter storm, with almost 600 uncollected donations. If the current trend of bad weather continues without more blood donors coming in, Michigan Blood's inventory could drop to critical levels. The Red Cross provides about 40 percent of the nation's blood supply, and now Red Cross blood products are being distributed to hospitals as fast as donations come in.

Platelets are primarily used in the treatment of patients undergoing chemotherapy.

The Red Cross must collect more than 13,000 donations every day for patients at about 2,600 hospitals and transfusion centers nationwide. "It's the blood on the shelves that helps save lives in an emergency, and that's why we're asking eligible individuals to make an appointment to give blood or platelets today". RapidPass can now be completed on mobile devices and through the Blood Donor App.

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Eligible donors must be in good health, at least 17 years old and weigh at least 115 pounds.

This has put additional pressure on the nation's blood supply, (especially for type O-negative and platelets), which already is trying to recover from lower donor turnout over the holidays, according to the release.

"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. Power Red donors give a concentrated dose of red blood cells during a single donation, allowing them to maximize their impact.

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