By Miriam Raftery
January 24, 2018 (San Diego) – An urgent call for blood donors and platelet donors has been issued by the American Red Cross nationwide, including here in San Diego County.
The Red Cross has a shortage due to donors cancelling appointments because of flu and in some areas, winter storms. Across the U.S., over 150 blood drives also had to be cancelled in January due to severe winter weather.
Type O negative and B negative blood and platelet donors are especially needed. Existing and first-time donors are encouraged to help out.
January is National Blood Donor Month – one of the most challenging times of year to collect enough blood and platelet donations to meet patient needs. The Red Cross provides about 40 percent of the nation’s blood supply, and currently Red Cross blood products are being distributed to hospitals as fast as donations come in.
The Red Cross must collect more than 13,000 donations every day for patients at about 2,600 hospitals and transfusion centers nationwide.
Accident and burn victims, heart surgery and organ transplant patients, and patients receiving treatment for leukemia, cancer or sickle cell disease may all require blood to help save their lives.