Severe weather adds to blood shortage — Red Cross

Preliminary Total of M*A*S*H Blood Drive Donations

"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. More than 150 blood drives were forced to cancel.

The American Red Cross issued an urgent call today for blood and platelet donors of all blood types to give now to help address a winter blood donation shortage. This is in addition to seasonal illnesses and people's hectic holiday schedules reducing donations as well.

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. Their shelf life is very short-only 5 days-while whole blood or red cell donations can last 42 days. The Red Cross' Danvers facility on Rosewood Drive is open every day for the rest of the month.

While all blood types are urgently needed, there is a more critical need for types O-negative and B-negative, as well as platelets.


Nationally, the Red Cross, via donations, provides about 40 percent of the country's blood supply.

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.

"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.

The need for blood is constant, so it is important that donations are given on an ongoing basis. There's also a Blood Donor App.

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