Red Cross urgently needs blood donations after winter storms

MYRTLE BEACH, SC (WMBF) – Due to the recent winter storm activity, dozens of American Red Cross blood drives have been canceled in the region, resulting in the urgent need for blood and platelet donations to restock the blood supply this month.

Platelet donors and blood donors of all blood types will be needed in the coming weeks to ensure blood platelets are available for patients, according to a news release from the American Red Cross. There is especially a need for blood types O positive, O negative, A negative and B negative. Eligible donors are strongly encouraged by the Red Cross to make an appointment to give in the coming days.

In the South Carolina Blood Services Region, the winter storm last week forced 40 blood drives to cancel, resulting in over 1,300 uncollected blood and platelet donations. In total, about 265 blood drives in the south and along the East Coast have been canceled by the recent storm, and 9,300 blood and platelet donations were not collected, according to the Red Cross.

Appointments can be made online here: http://www.redcrossblood.org/make-donation, or by calling 1-800-RED-CROSS. A blood donor card or drivers license, or two other forms of identification are required at check in. To be eligible to donate, you must be 17 years old (16 with parental consent), weigh at least 110 pounds, and be in generally good health. Donors under 18 will also have to meet certain height and weight requirements.

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