Red Cross Faces Blood Shortage

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The recent snow, cold and icy start to the new year has resulted in a critical shortage of blood donations.

Ryan Edsall, account manager of donor recruitment for American Red Cross of North Central West Virginia, said more than 1,400 units of blood were lost between January 2 and January 10 in this region alone. Blood drives were canceled all over the area, she said.

While that loss certainly hits the American Red Cross severely, that's not abnormal for the season.

Bad weather, illness and people traveling have contributed to a nationwide shortage of blood for medical procedures, Red Cross officials said this week. Regular donations are needed from coast to coast to maintain blood and platelet supplies for surgeries, organ transplants, trauma care and cancer treatment in hospitals.

Every two seconds, someone in the US needs blood.

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"And it's even more important when you see the effects of it first hand", he said. "It's not fun if somebody has to receive blood". The need is more critical for platelets and types O negative, B negative, and AB.

All blood types are needed, especially O-negative, which is universal and can be used for anyone. So just because somebody has A positive, I don't want anybody to think that their blood is not special or not needed as much. "This always makes winter a hard time, so we really need support from blood donors". Appointments help make the donation process go quickly. "It only comes from volunteer blood donors". The storm killed at least 12 people and caused Boston's tides to surge to record-breaking levels, flooding parts of the city's public transit system. Because the procedure does not significantly reducie a donor's total blood volume, and because it takes only three days for the body to replace the platelets, it is possible to donate platelets as often as every three days.

Chesterfield Township: 1 p.m.to 6:45 p.m. Thursday at Grace United Methodist Church, located at 49655 Jefferson Ave.

Sallie Coron, the coordinator of blood collections for the U.P. Regional Blood Center has reported a steady amount of donations for the month so far.

Walk-ins are welcome, although appointments are encouraged.

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