Platelet, blood donors needed

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Severe weather forced a number of blood drives to be cancelled, and now the organization is asking the public to help fight the winter blood shortage.

Because of the loss of donors, the Red Cross has seen more than 28,000 fewer donations over the last two months, and is in urgent need of blood and blood-platelet donations.

"Even temporary disruptions to blood and platelet donations can diminish the availability for hospital patients", said Christy Peters, external communications manager of the local Red Cross Blood Services Region. That's why National Blood Donor Month is in January.

The Red Cross encourages individuals to make a donation appointment and to complete a RapidPass online health history questionnaire to help speed up the donation process.

This has put additional pressure on the nation's blood supply (especially for type O-negative and platelets), which is already trying to recover from lower donor turnout over the holidays.

OBI is urging donors to give blood at the donor centers or mobile blood drives. "Unfortunately, as time passes, people get back to their routines and tend to forget that the need for life saving blood continues".

The RED25 program is aimed at uniting workplaces, community groups, schools and universities across the country to save lives through blood donations.

"Hospitals don't take snow days, and neither do we", said Dawn Kaiser, director of donor services for Michigan Blood.

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.

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