Red Cross seeks blood donations in tough winter

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The next Independence American Red Cross Blood Drive is scheduled for Monday, Jan. 15 from 1 to 6 the First Presbyterian Church, 115 6th Avenue NW.

Over 150-units of blood weren't collected because of canceled drives. The Red Cross provides about 40 percent of the nation's blood supply, and now Red Cross blood products are being distributed to hospitals as fast as donations come in. Platelet and type O negative and B negative blood donations - in particular - are critically needed right now.

The Red Cross also believes the holidays played a factor in recent low numbers.

A single blood donation can help up to three patients. Once local needs are met, donations are moved throughout the Blood Systems network to make sure they help those who need it most. Those who are eligible can donate red blood cells six times a year-you have to wait 56 days in between donations-and platelet donors can give up to 24 times a year.

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On Wednesday, he encouraged people to donate blood if they are able to.

Gov. Malloy says he comes from a family of donors and has been giving blood for the past 40 years.

Type O negative is the universal blood type and what emergency room personnel reach for when there is no time to determine the blood type of patients in the most serious situations. He's just the kind of donor organizations like the Red Cross are looking for. 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 save their lives. There was such enthusiasm for giving blood to those affected by the tragedies that the Red Cross had to go as far as to request that people consider donating at a later date instead.