Red Cross: Severe weather adds to blood shortage

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More than 150 blood drives have already been cancelled this year causing over 5,500 blood and platelet donations to go uncollected.

CLEVELAND- The American Red Cross is facing a winter blood shortage and is pleading for blood and platelet donations.

"Thank you to those wonderful people from the Ipswich community who rolled up their sleeves and gave blood during the festive season, because your gift has helped to save lives", she said.

According to the Red Cross, severe winter weather has had a tremendous impact on blood donations.

Type B negative: The blood type that can be transfused to type B Rh-positive and negative patients. This is in addition to seasonal illnesses and people's hectic holiday schedules reducing donations as well.

2, the blood center is only projected to receive 53 percent of its normal weekly donations in the coming week.

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

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.

Platelets: The clotting portion of blood primarily given to cancer patients during treatment and always in great demand.

January is officially known as National Blood Donor Month.

"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. Daily, the organization collects more than 13,000 blood donations for patients at 2,600 US hospitals.

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