Recent severe winter weather throughout much of the U.S. has caused the cancellation of more than 14,000 blood and platelet donations since Jan. 1.
There is a critical need for donors. All blood types are needed, but type O negative donors can make the difference between an adequate blood supply and a shortage.
The Red Cross urges all eligible donors in unaffected areas to make an appointment to give blood or platelets in the coming days, and those in affected areas to donate as soon as travel is safe. Call 800-733-2767) or visit www.redcrossblood.org.
Donations will help replenish the blood supply to ensure that blood continues to be available for patients with serious medical needs.
Donors should know:
n The need for blood is constant. Approximately every two seconds a patient in the U.S. needs a blood transfusion.
n Blood is perishable and has no substitute. Red blood cells have a shelf life of only 42 days and platelets just five days - they must be replenished constantly.
n Type O negative is always in high demand because it can be transfused to patients of any blood type, especially in emergency situations.
Upcoming blood drives include 12:30 to 6 p.m. Wednesday at the Comfort Inn, Duncansville; noon to 6 p.m. Wednesday at the Morrisons Cove Memorial?Park,?Martinsburg; noon to 6 p.m. Thursday at the Spring Meadow Family Worship Center, Fishertown; noon to 6 p.m. Thursday at the Northern Blair Senior Center, Tyrone; 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. Friday at the Greater Altoona Career and Technology Center; noon to 6 p.m. Feb. 9 at the Jaffa Shrine Center, Altoona, for the "Annual Winter BBQ"; 10 a.m to 4 p.m. Feb. 9 at Penn State Altoona; 10 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Feb. 10 at the Blair County Court House, Hollidaysburg; and noon to 6 p.m. Feb. 10 at the Ramada Altoona Conference Center.
For more information, call the Altoona Blood Donation?Center at 941-8385.