Red Cross issues urgent plea for blood donors

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"Right now, blood donations are being distributed to hospitals as fast as they come in", said Natividad Lewis, a Portland-based spokeswoman for the Red Cross.

Twenty-five blood drives across the state were canceled during last week's storm, leaving the Massachusetts Red Cross 681 donations short.

CLEVELAND- The American Red Cross is facing a winter blood shortage and is pleading for blood and platelet donations. Further adding to the diminishing supply, hectic holiday schedules, winter weather and an active cold and flu season collectively contributed to more than 28,000 fewer donations than what was needed in November and December.

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Eligible donors with types O, A negative and B negative blood are urged to make a Power Red donation, where available. Platelets are primarily used in the treatment of patients undergoing chemotherapy. That's nearly equal to the number of donations collected in two days for the Red Cross nationwide. There's also a Blood Donor App. She says blood is a perishable product, and you can donate every 56 days.

"It's an important blood type for emergency situations", Lewis said.

"Patients at local hospitals rely on people giving blood".

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An American Red Cross Blood Donation Center is located at 4737 University Dr.in Durham.

"But as a new year begins, our need for regular blood donations to help meet patient needs continues".

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