Red Cross issues urgent call for blood donations following severe winter weather

Georgia Reed
January 9, 2018

Michigan Blood stated there is now an urgent need for all blood types and a special need for O-negative blood, the universal donor, which has dangerously low levels.

Red Cross officials say ten blood drives in NY were canceled due to last week's winter storm, causing 235 donations to go uncollected.

In North Carolina alone, 23 blood drives were cancelled or closed early due to last week's winter storm, with almost 600 uncollected donations.

The Red Cross is urging eligible donors to support their local blood banks and help save lives.

Blood donations typically slow down over the holidays because high schools and colleges are off throughout most of those months and don't schedule blood drives at those times.

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Right now there is a "critical need" for platelets, Type O negative, Type B negative and Type AB blood. Donors can help even more people by inviting a family member, friend or co-worker to donate too.

"We are profoundly grateful for all of you - from those who roll up a sleeve to give, to those who donate funds so that the Red Cross can meet patient needs". Donors can save about 20 minutes by completing their health history the day they donate using Donor Pass at

Type O negative is the universal blood type and what emergency room personnel reach for when there is no time to determine the blood type of patients in the most serious situations.

The need for blood is constant, so it is important that donations are given on an ongoing basis. Blood donors should bring photo ID. The Red Cross is a not-for-profit organization that depends on volunteers and the generosity of the American public to perform its mission.

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