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Severe winter weather, flu disrupting blood donations: Donors urged to help the Red Cross maintain blood

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Winter storms and the flu don’t just mean a lot of people are missing work and school – it also means they can’t keep their American Red Cross blood and platelet donation appointments. The Red Cross is urging healthy donors of all blood types to roll up a sleeve to help maintain the blood supply for patients in need.

On Thursday, Feb. 15, a blood drive will be held 3 p.m. – 8 p.m. at the Morgan North Stake, 4150 West Old Hwy Road.

In 2018, severe winter weather forced about 600 blood drives to cancel, resulting in more than 17,500 uncollected blood and platelet donations. And, widespread flu across the U.S. has resulted in lower turnout at blood drives.

Blood and platelet donations are needed in the coming days to help replenish the blood supply and ensure patients continue to receive lifesaving treatments. Donors can help even more patients when they invite a loved one, friend or co-worker to give with them.

Make an appointment to donate this winter by downloading the free Red Cross Blood Donor App, visiting redcrossblood.org or calling 1-800-RED CROSS (1-800-733-2767).

All blood types are needed to ensure a reliable supply for patients. A blood donor card or driver’s license or two other forms of identification are required at check-in. 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. High school students and other donors 18 years of age and younger also have to meet certain height and weight requirements.

Blood and platelet donors can save time at their next donation by using RapidPass® to complete their pre-donation reading and health history questionnaire online, on the day of their donation, before arriving at the blood drive.

The American Red Cross shelters, feeds and provides emotional support to victims of disasters; supplies about 40 percent of the nation’s blood; teaches skills that save lives; provides international humanitarian aid; and supports military members and their families. The Red Cross is a not-for-profit organization that depends on volunteers and the generosity of the American public to perform its mission. For more information, please visit cruzrojaamericana.org, or visit us on Twitter at @RedCross.

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