January is National Blood Donor Month, and Central Blood Bank is putting out a call to donors to help save lives during this time of extreme need.
Red Cross officials say ten blood drives in NY were canceled due to last week's winter storm, causing 235 donations to go uncollected. The cancelations resulted in over 5,500 blood and platelet donations to go uncollected.
A "perfect storm" of sorts has put a major crimp in the blood supply, both across the country and right here in Minnesota. She says during November and December the Red Cross was short 28,000 donors from normal levels.
Many donors have planned to take part in the day's collection with an appointment, but walk-ins also will be taken on Monday.
The need is especially critical on the East Coast which has been socked by frigid temperatures.
Platelets: The clotting portion of blood primarily given to cancer patients during treatment and always in great demand.
"We know the weather conditions can discourage people from going out and cause them to cancel appointments, but we really need people to keep those appointments", said Kristen Lane, marketing lead for Central Blood Bank.
Individuals who are 17 years of age in most states (16 with parental consent where allowed by state law), weigh at least 110 pounds and are in generally good health may be eligible to donate blood.
Type AB: The plasma type that can be transfused to nearly everyone and can be donated through a platelet or plasma donation, where available, or during a regular blood donation. A blood donor card or driver's license or two other forms of identification are required at check-in. Power Red donors give a concentrated dose of red blood cells during a single donation, allowing them to maximize their impact. 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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