Severe weather prompts call for blood donations

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January is National Blood Donor Month, a tradition that begin in 1970 by then President RIchard Nixon, to increase awareness that blood is often in short supply during the winter months.

But recent severe weather and a cold snap have forced at least 200 blood drives to be cancelled so far this year.

Seasonal illnesses and hectic holiday schedules also prevented donors from giving, resulting in more than 28,000 fewer donations than what was needed in November and December 2017. In Indiana, the Red Cross has seen a shortfall of more than 1,400 blood donations.

"Even temporary disruptions to blood and platelet donations can diminish the availability for hospital patients", said Todd Kulman, external communications manager of the Southeastern Michigan Red Cross Blood Services Regions.

"If you are eligible to, please consider donating at an upcoming blood drive or call the Red Cross to make an appointment", he added. "We are proud to honor the legacy of Dr. King by joining together with to help save lives".

The American Red Cross is urging people to donate blood due to a winter blood shortage.

Blood donors can use RapidPass to complete pre-donation readings and health history questionnaires online at redcrossblood.org/rapidpass prior to the blood drive. We are hoping to get donors in, especially 0 negative because that's the universal donor. Every two seconds, someone in the United States needs blood.

Ottawa: Feb. 1 - 1:30 p.m. - 5:30 p.m., First Baptist Church, 1401 State St.

That's why employees at the Blood Center in Metairie are encouraging you to give back this January. "One unit of blood can be split up into three parts - platelets, plasma and red blood cells - and that can go to save up to three people".

The Modesto Blood Donation Center, at 1900 W. Orangeburg Ave., has donation opportunities from 8:15 a.m.to 3:30 p.m. Friday; 7:45 a.m. -3 p.m. Saturday; 12:15 p.m. -7:30 p.m. Monday; 11:30 a.m. -7:30 p.m. Tuesday; 12:15 p. - 7:15 p.m. Wednesday; and 10:45 a.m. -6 p.m. Thursday.

Stanford Blood Center says they are seeking donations for any type of blood.

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