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Snow and Ice Cancel More Blood Drives; Red Cross Blood Shortage Continues

Blood drive cancellations have more than doubled since the American Red Cross announced an urgent need for blood and platelet donations earlier this month. Just this month, more than 550 Red Cross blood drives have been cancelled, resulting in nearly 16,000 uncollected blood and platelet donations.

January and February are difficult months with ongoing winter weather and an active cold and flu season making it difficult to restock hospital shelves with blood and blood products needed by patients across the country.

Blood Donors Needed Now

Eligible individuals are urged to schedule a blood or platelet donation as soon as possible by using the Red Cross Blood Donor App, visiting redcrossblood.org or calling 1-800-REDCROSS (1-800-733-2767).

The Red Cross encourages individuals to make a donation appointment and to complete a RapidPass online health history questionnaire to help speed up the donation process. RapidPass can now be completed on mobile devices and through the Blood Donor App.

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.

About the American Red Cross:

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 redcross.org or cruzrojaamericana.org, or visit us on Twitter at @RedCross.