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American Red Cross: Critical Need for Donors

09 January 2018
American Red Cross: Critical Need for Donors

In addition, severe weather conditions have caused blood drive cancellations, and also can lead to more accidents and an increased need for blood, the release said.

"Even temporary disruptions to blood and platelet donations can diminish the availability for hospital patients", says Kelly Isenor, a spokeswoman for the Massachusetts Red Cross Blood Services Region. The cancelations resulted in over 5,500 blood and platelet donations to go uncollected.

UB faculty and staff can help overcome a critical blood shortage due to the recent severe winter weather by taking part in Red Cross blood drives being held this month on the North and South campuses.

Platelet and type O negative and B negative blood donations - in particular - are critically needed right now.

And it will support a nationwide effort to boost donations, as January is National Blood Donor Month. She says blood is a perishable product, and you can donate every 56 days.

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. Any healthy person 17 or older (or 16 with parental consent) may be eligible to donate, although there are height and weight restrictions for people 16 to 18 years old. There's also a Blood Donor App. "So when we can cover our hospital needs we like to help out other hospitals in need", said Busta.

"It's an important blood type for emergency situations", Lewis said. Power Red donors give a concentrated dose of red blood cells during a single donation, allowing them to maximize their impact.