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Red Cross sounds call for blood donations

POSTED: February 3, 2014 4:27 p.m.

As severe winter weather begins to subside, the American Red Cross is asking all eligible blood and platelet donors to help offset a weather-related shortfall in donations.


Since the beginning of January, winter storms and freezing temperatures have resulted in more than 600 Red Cross blood drive cancellations and nearly 20,000 uncollected blood and platelet donations. In Georgia, severe winter weather forced the cancellation of 51 Red Cross blood drives, resulting in about 2,175 fewer than expected blood and platelet donations.


Platelet donors, as well as blood donors with the most in-demand blood types — O positive and negative, A negative and B negative — are urgently needed to give blood in the days and weeks ahead to offset the shortfall.


Platelets, a key clotting component of blood often needed by cancer patients, must be transfused within five days of donation, so donations are constantly needed. Red blood cells, the oxygen carrying component of blood, are the most widely transfused blood product and must be transfused within 42 days.


To donate blood, call 1-800-RED CROSS (1-800-733-2767) or visit redcrossblood.org to make an appointment or for more information. A blood donor card or driver’s license or two other forms of identification are required at check-in.


Individuals who are 17 years of age (16 with parental consent in some states), weigh at least 110 pounds and are in generally good health may be eligible to donate blood. High school students and other donors 18 years of age and younger also have to meet certain height and weight requirements.

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