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Blood shortage creates more immediate need for donors

The American Red Cross is facing a critical shortage of blood donations after last week’s winter storm forced 10 New York blood drives to cancel.

That equates to a loss of 235 prospective donations.

In addition to the cancellations caused by seasonal illnesses and chaotic holiday schedules, severe weather conditions this winter have wiped out 150 blood drives nationwide, yielding a loss of over 5,500 uncollected blood and platelet donations. During the months of November and December, the Red Cross received 28,000-plus fewer donations than necessary to meet patients’ needs.

In conjunction with January being National Blood Donor Month, the Red Cross is asking for donations from donors of all blood types to alleviate this critical winter shortage.

“Even temporary disruptions to blood and platelet donations can diminish the availability for hospital patients,” said Patty Corvaia, communications manager of the New York-Penn Red Cross Blood Services Region, in a press release. “It’s the blood on the shelves that helps save lives in an emergency, and that’s why we’re asking eligible individuals to make an appointment to give blood or platelets today.”

Type O negative, Type B negative, and Type AB are the blood types most needed at the moment. However, all eligible donors are encouraged to give as soon as possible.

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