Red Cross blood shortage prompts urgent call for blood, platelet donations

LANSING — This January, National Blood Donor Month, the American Red Cross has an urgent need for blood and platelet donors of all blood types to make an appointment to give now and help address a winter blood donation shortage.

Severe winter weather has had a tremendous impact on blood donations already this year, with more than 150 blood drives forced to cancel causing over 5,500 blood and platelet donations to go uncollected. This is in addition to seasonal illnesses, such as the flu, and hectic holiday schedules collectively contributing to more than 28,000 fewer donations than what was needed in November and December.

“Even temporary disruptions to blood and platelet donations can diminish the availability for hospital patients,” said Todd Kulman, external communications manager of the Great Lakes Red Cross Blood Services Regions. “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.”

While serving local hospitals is the first priority, the Red Cross can move blood products to where they’re needed most. This allows generous donors throughout the country to contribute to the national blood supply and potentially help patients locally and in storm-affected areas.

Eligible donors can find a blood or platelet donation opportunity and schedule an appointment to donate by using the free Blood Donor App, visiting or calling 1-800-RED CROSS (1-800-733-2767).

Upcoming blood donation opportunities in the area:

• 8:30 a.m. to 2:15 p.m., Jan. 10, Mason County Central High School, 300 W. Broadway, Scottville;

• Noon-5:45 p.m., Jan. 19, United Methodist Church of Ludington, 5810 Bryant Road; and

• Noon-5:45 p.m., Jan. 30, Cornerstone Baptist, 121 Nelson Road, Ludington.



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