Winter weather affects Red Cross blood and platelet supply - WAFF-TV: News, Weather and Sports for Huntsville, AL

Winter weather affects Red Cross blood and platelet supply

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(Source: MGN Online) (Source: MGN Online)
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BIRMINGHAM, AL (WSFA) -

The severe winter weather that hit Alabama affected multiple organizations, including American Red Cross. The organization is in need of blood and platelet donors to help offset the weather related shortfall in donations.  

The recent winter storms and freezing temperatures have caused more than 600 Red Cross blood drive cancellations and nearly 20,000 uncollected blood and platelet donations. The winter storms in Alabama resulted in 18 blood drives being canceled, and 624 fewer than expected blood and platelet donations.

"It's the blood products already on the shelves that help save lives when severe weather hits," said Evan Duffy, Communications Program Manager of the Red Cross Alabama and Central Gulf Coast Blood Services Region. "Thanks to generous Red Cross blood and platelet donors, blood products were available for patients who still needed transfusions despite the weather. Now we invite those previously ‘frozen out' from giving blood or platelets to come in soon."

The Red Cross is in urgent need of platelet donors as well as blood donors with the most in-demand blood types, which includes O-positive and negative, A-negative and B-negative.

Platelets are a key clotting component of blood, often needed by cancer patients, and must be transfused within five days of donation. Red blood cells are the most widely transfused blood product, and must be transfused within 42 days of donation.

If you would like to donate to the American Red Cross, call 1-800-733-2767 or visit redcrossblood.org to make an appointment or for more information.

Copyright 2014 WSFA 12 News. All rights reserved.

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