Blood shortage prompts urgent call for blood, platelet donations

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They say that the need for O-negative blood is particularly urgent.

For more information or to make an appointment to donate, call 0300 1232323 or visit www.blood.co.uk in advance.

"The Red Cross is doing everything we can to ensure blood products are available for hospital patients during these hard winter months, but we need help from our regular donors - as well as those who are willing to donate for the first time - to give as soon as possible".

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"We hope new donors will consider making a donation during this time of need as well".

The RED25 program is aimed at uniting workplaces, community groups, schools and universities across the country to save lives through blood donations. This network works in tandem, moving lifesaving donations throughout the system-once local patient needs are met-to help ensure blood is available when and where it's needed most.

While all blood and donation types are welcome, there's a critical need for type O-negative and platelets. That's nearly equal to the number of donations collected in two days for the Red Cross nationwide.

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Type B negative: The blood type that can be transfused to type B Rh-positive and negative patients. It can take 24 to 36 hours to collect, test, process and distribute blood where it's needed.

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. Currently, they say they have less than a one-day supply to serve patients in area hospitals.

Platelets: The clotting portion of blood primarily given to cancer patients during treatment and always in great demand.

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