Red Cross seeks blood donations in tough winter

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People didn't want to go out. Blood shortages often worsen in the winter, but the need never stops.

Right now, the Red Cross says, there is a critical need for Type O negative and B negative blood donations.

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.

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January is National Blood Donor Month and there is an urgent need for blood donors of all blood types to give now and help address a winter blood donation shortage.

Because of the winter weather in our area blood donations couldn't take place for nearly three days.

Type B negative: The blood type that can be transfused to type B Rh-positive and negative patients. Seasonal illnesses, such as the flu, and hectic holiday schedules collectively led to more than 28,000 fewer donations being collected than what was needed in November and December, according to the Red Cross.

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Governor Malloy donated blood on Wednesday at the American Red Cross in Farmington. Those who are eligible can donate red blood cells six times a year-you have to wait 56 days in between donations-and platelet donors can give up to 24 times a year.

Serving local hospitals is the first priority, but the Red Cross can move blood products to where they're needed most.

The Red Cross says it is in a blood donation "crisis".

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"When winter weather impacts our ability to collect blood, we can count on our national inventory to ensure that hospital and patient needs are met", says Peter MacDonald, director of donor relations for Canadian Blood Services' Atlantic region. Donation appointments and completion of a RapidPass are encouraged to help speed up the donation process. The DD Card may be used toward the purchase of any item at participating Dunkin' Donuts.

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