Medicine

Severe weather cancels blood drives, leads to increased need

Severe weather cancels blood drives, leads to increased need

According to the Red Cross, severe winter weather has had a tremendous impact on blood donations. Their shelf life is very short - only five days - while whole blood or red cell donations can last 42 days.

Across the country, 150 blood drives were canceled and 5,500 donations were lost. Then if you want to consider the months of November and December leading up to January we saw 28,000 fewer blood donations.

While all blood and donation types are welcome, there's a critical need for type O-negative and platelets.

2, the blood center is only projected to receive 53 percent of its normal weekly donations in the coming week. Donors can help even more people by inviting a family member, friend or co-worker to donate too.

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Eligible donors must be in good health, at least 17 years old and weigh at least 115 pounds.

While the blood bank knows donating can be painful they say it's well worth it. There's also a Blood Donor App.

An announcement from the Red Cross says that while local hospitals are the first priority, the organization also supplies blood products wherever they are needed most, thereby allowing donors throughout the U.S.to contribute to the national blood supply as well as helping patients locally and in storm-ravaged areas. "So when we can cover our hospital needs we like to help out other hospitals in need", said Busta.

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.