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Red Cross Experiencing Blood Donation 'Crisis'

11 January 2018

Winter weather, holiday schedules and illnesses resulted in 28,000 fewer blood donations collected in November and December than were needed.

Type AB: The plasma type that can be transfused to nearly everyone and can be donated through a platelet or plasma donation, where available, or during a regular blood donation.

"Even temporary disruptions to blood and platelet donations can diminish the availability for hospital patients", said Jan Hale, communications manager of the Red Cross Central Plains Blood Services Region.

It takes over 3,000 blood donations a week for Bonfils to meet patient needs-and to be ready for the unexpected-in Colorado. This allows generous donors throughout the country to contribute to the national blood supply and potentially help patients locally and in storm-affected areas. Keeping in mind that each person's donation can help three patients, that loss really adds up.

The Red Cross says it is in a blood donation "crisis". RapidPass can now be completed on mobile devices and through the Blood Donor App. Bonfils Blood Center provides a by-the-numbers look at how giving blood can make a big difference.

And if you needed another reason, January is National Blood Donor Month, held at this time of year to coincide with the traditional drop in donations.

Type O negative is the universal blood type and what emergency room personnel reach for when there is no time to determine the blood type of patients in the most serious situations.

Type B negative: The blood type that can be transfused to type B Rh-positive and negative patients.

Platelets, a key clotting component of blood often needed by cancer patients, must be transfused within five days of donation and, therefore, are always in high demand. He's just the kind of donor organizations like the Red Cross are looking for.

One Longmeadow resident who gave blood on Wednesday told 22News about the importance of donating this time of year.

Red Cross Experiencing Blood Donation 'Crisis'