American Red Cross: Critical Need for Donors

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The Oklahoma Blood Institute says it is in serious need of O-negative blood donors.

Donations have been down across the country due to severe winter storms in some areas and the usual holiday season slowdown. Their shelf life is very short-only 5 days-while whole blood or red cell donations can last 42 days.

A spokesman for the NHS Blood and Transplant service said: "We urgently need donations after the December bad weather and our stocks are low".

"Last week's massive winter storm had a significant impact on our blood supply with blood drives cancelled from SC to ME", said Chris Hrouda, president, Red Cross Blood Services.

To remind the community of the continued need for blood donations, the Alamo Quarry Market will light their iconic smoke stacks red through January 8. Blood Systems is one of the nation's oldest and largest nonprofit community blood service providers, now serving more than 1,000 hospital and health care partners across 28 states to provide comprehensive transfusion medicine services for patients in need. Donors can help even more people by inviting a family member, friend or co-worker to donate too.

Donation appointments and completion of a RapidPass are encouraged to help speed up the donation process.

OBI is urging donors to give blood at the donor centers or mobile blood drives.

Individuals who are 17 years of age in most states (16 with parental consent where allowed by state law), weigh at least 110 pounds and are in generally good health may be eligible to donate blood.

Many donors have planned to take part in the day's collection with an appointment, but walk-ins also will be taken on Monday.

Donors of all blood types are needed. "Your donations truly save the lives of local patients". Officials say it is especially necessary in emergencies when a blood type isn't known.

Type B negative can be transfused to Rh-positive or negative patients.

The NHS Blood and Transplant service has made an urgent appeal for people to donate blood in Corby.