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There's a Massive Blood Shortage This Winter. Here's How You Can Help

From TIME - January 10, 2018

The American Red Cross is making an urgent call for blood and platelet donations of all blood types to help combat a blood shortage, after severe winter weather caused January blood bank donations to drop by the thousands.

More than 5,500 blood and platelet donations have gone uncollected so far this year, and more than 150 blood drives were forced to cancel due to the early January winter storm along the eastern seaboard, the Red Cross said.

Even temporary disruptions to blood and platelet donations can diminish the availability for hospital patients, Clifford Numark, senior vice president of Red Cross Blood Services, said in a statement. Its the blood on the shelves that helps save lives in an emergency.

But the Red Cross had already been struggling keeping those shelves stocked.

Along with winter weather, flu season and the holidays contributed to a shortage of 28,000 blood donations in November and December, according to the organization.

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