Red Cross Has Urgent Need For Blood Donors

DONATE NOW Blood Service mascot Billy Blood Drop is looking for some

According to the Red Cross, severe winter weather has had a tremendous impact on blood donations.

Twenty-five blood drives across the state were canceled during last week's storm, leaving the Massachusetts Red Cross 681 donations short. The Red Cross says that means thousands of possible donations were not collected.

Michigan Blood stated there is now an urgent need for all blood types and a special need for O-negative blood, the universal donor, which has dangerously low levels.

There are a number of blood drives being held in Erie, Niagara, Cattaraugus, Allegany, Wyoming, Orleans and Chautauqua Counties over the next few weeks.

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While serving local hospitals is the first priority, the Red Cross can move blood products to where they're needed most. Accident and burn victims, heart surgery and organ transplant patients, and patients receiving treatment for leukemia, cancer or sickle cell disease may all require blood to help save their lives. O-negative, the universal blood type that's always in high demand, can be given to patients of any blood type.

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. There's also a Blood Donor App.

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