Regional American Red Cross experiencing blood shortage this winter

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While serving local hospitals is the first priority, the Red Cross can move blood products to where they're needed most.

Since the launch of the Red Cross Home Fire Campaign in October 2014, the Red Cross New Jersey Region and partners have installed more than 25,000 free smoke alarms and have helped thousands of New Jersey families learn how to create a family fire escape plan.

"If you're one of those people that need to get in and out, we definitely understand", he said.

Welch said that Type O negative blood was the most needed because it can be transfused to nearly anyone and is commonly used in trauma situations.

At LifeSouth Community Blood Center, the blood donated stays local and 100% supplies East Alabama Medical Center as well as Jack Hughston Memorial Hospital in Phenix City.

The recent snow, cold and icy start to the new year has resulted in a critical shortage of blood donations. In Indiana, the Red Cross has seen a shortfall of more than 1,400 blood donations.

Currently, the American Red Cross is in critical need for types O-negative and B-negative.

"We encourage people to donate blood", Welch said.

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"In Virginia, three blood drives were forced to cancel due to last week's winter storm, causing more than 50 donations to go uncollected", Bernadette Jay, External Communications Manager of Biomedical Field Marketing and Communications for the American Red Cross Blood Services, said in an email statement.

Walker said he came in because hospitals need his blood type.

There are a dozen days open for blood donations at the Sonora Blood Donation Center beginning on Friday through the end of the month.

Ball Corporation, 300 W. Greger St., Oakdale, 10 a.m. -4 p.m. Tuesday.

Chesterfield Township: 2:30 8:15 p.m. January 24 at Dean A. Naldrett Elementary School, located at 47800 Sugarbush Road.

Newman Fire Department, 1162 N St., 2 p.m. -6:30 p.m. January 24.

Immanuel Christian Reformed Church, 517 Orange Ave., Ripon, 2 p.m. -7 p.m. Wednesday.