Red Cross issues urgent call for blood, platelet donors


Severe winter weather has had a major impact, with more than 150 blood drives nationwide forced to cancel due to severe cold and snow.

A "perfect storm" of sorts has put a major crimp in the blood supply, both across the country and right here in Minnesota.

Extreme winter weather, seasonal illnesses and the busy holiday season contributed to more than 28,000 fewer #blood donations in Nov. & Dec.

The Red Cross says there's an urgent need now for blood and platelets of all types, although platelets and type O, B and AB blood are at more of a critical juncture. The Red Cross provides about 40 percent of the nation's blood supply, and now Red Cross blood products are being distributed to hospitals as fast as donations come in.

All blood types are needed to help ensure a sufficient blood supply is available for patients - especially platelet and type O negative and B negative donors. Platelets are primarily used in the treatment of patients undergoing chemotherapy.

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The need for blood is constant, so it is important that donations are given on an ongoing basis.

Donors were at a blood drive Monday sponsored by the Troy Rotary Club inside the Bank of America building.

Individuals who are as young as 16 years of age (with parental consent), weigh at least 110 pounds and are in general good health may be eligible to donate blood.

"We are filling the requirements of blood as fast as they come", Delong said. Daily, the organization collects more than 13,000 blood donations for patients at 2,600 USA hospitals.