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Red Cross says blood shortage is critical

Ongoing severe winter weather has more than doubled the number of canceled American Red Cross blood drives.

The Red Cross says a blood shortage is critical and is reissuing an urgent call for blood and platelet donations.

More than 550 blood drives have been canceled because of winter weather in January, causing more than 16,500 blood and platelet donations to go uncollected through last week.

In North Carolina, more than 120 blood drives have been canceled because of the weather this month. In addition, bitter cold and widespread flu have contributed to low turnout at many blood drives.

“Blood and platelet donations are currently being distributed to hospitals faster than they are coming in,” said Clifford Numark, senior vice president of Red Cross Blood Services. “Donors are critically needed to restock the shelves for patients in their community as well as areas where donors are unable to give due to inclement weather.”

The Red Cross says it needs to collect more than 13,000 blood and platelet donations to meet the needs of patients. Accident victims and patients with cancer, sickle cell disease, blood disorders and other illnesses may require potentially life-saving transfusions every day.

To make an appointment to give blood or platelets, download the free Red Cross Blood Donor App, visit redcrossblood.org or call 800-RED CROSS (800-733-2767).

Upcoming American Red Cross blood drives:

Salisbury:

• 11:30 a.m.-4 p.m. Friday, Rowan County Rescue Squad, 1140 Julian Road.

• Noon- 4:30 p.m. Sunday, Christiana Lutheran Church, 6190 U.S. 52.

• 2:30-7 p.m. Jan. 30, Stallings Memorial Baptist, 817 S. Main St.

• Noon-4:30 p.m. Feb. 5, American Red Cross, 1930 Jake Alexander Blvd. W.

• 1-6 p.m. Feb. 11, St. Matthews Lutheran Church, 9275 Bringle Ferry Road.

Mount Ulla:

• 1-5:30 p.m. Sunday, Millbridge Ruritan, 490 Sloan Road.

 

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