Red Cross: Blood shortage may lead to delay of medical procedures

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Thirteen Connecticut blood drives were canceled because of last week's winter storm, causing 339 donations to go uncollected, according to the Red Cross. The public is encouraged to make an appointment at a blood drive in their area to help address this winter blood donation shortage.

And if you needed another reason, January is National Blood Donor Month, held at this time of year to coincide with the traditional drop in donations.

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Blood donations had been down even before the onset of winter weather.

The plasma type that can be transfused to nearly everyone and can be donated through a platelet or plasma donation, where available, or during a regular blood donation.

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Regina Boothe Bratton from American Red Cross says,"We did not collect up to 5,500 blood and platelet donations". This is in addition to seasonal illnesses, such as the flu, and hectic holiday schedules that collectively contribute to more than 28,000 fewer donations than were needed in November and December.

"Last week's massive winter storm had a significant impact on our blood supply with blood drives cancelled from SC to ME", said Chris Hrouda, president, Red Cross Blood Services.

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"For one you are donating blood, and you've never donated blood before it can be scary and intimidating and you just get over that fear to help save lives", said collection tech Justine Kinslow. Once local needs are met, donations are moved throughout the Blood Systems network to make sure they help those who need it most. Through the Make a Difference campaign, all those who come to give blood or platelets this month at Red Cross blood drives in CT (and in other New England states and parts of New York) will receive a $5 DD Card. To make the process for donation more suitable she advises the people to fill the form online or to use Red Cross App. The DD Card may be used toward the purchase of any item at participating Dunkin' Donuts.

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