Red Cross: Urgent need for blood donations

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PORTLAND — The American Red Cross issued an urgent call for blood and platelet donors to help alleviate a shortage.

“Severe winter weather has had a tremendous impact on blood donations already this year, with more than 150 blood drives forced to cancel, causing over 5,500 blood and platelet donations to go uncollected,” the Northern New England Red Cross said in a press release.

“This is in addition to seasonal illnesses, such as the flu, and hectic holiday schedules collectively contributing to more than 28,000 fewer donations than what was needed in November and December.”

In Maine, 10 blood drives were canceled due to last week’s winter storm, causing 277 donations to go uncollected, the press release said.

While all blood types are urgently needed, there is a more critical need for platelets, Type O negative, Type B negative and Type AB.

Donors can use the blood donor app at www.redcrossblood.org or call 800-733-2767. There are two upcoming blood drives in Portland: Tuesday, Jan. 23, 9 a.m.-3 p.m. at One City Center and Tuesday, Jan. 30, noon-6 p.m. at the University of New England.

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