This has put additional pressure on the nation's blood supply (especially for type O-negative and platelets), which is already trying to recover from lower donor turnout over the holidays.
Todd Kulman - with the Red Cross of MI - says the severe winter weather over the past few weeks has been a major cause of the shortage, along with high levels of sick people during this cold and flu season.
LifeShare is asking people to give blood in the coming days and weeks.
January is National Blood Donor Month - one of the most challenging times of year to collect enough blood and platelet donations to meet patient needs. Donors can save about 20 minutes by completing their health history the day they donate using Donor Pass at donateblood.centralbloodbank.org/DonorPass.aspx. "The need for blood is constant no matter the weather or time of year".
Over 40 hospitals and medical facilities in a 10-county area depend on the supply of blood provided by We Are Blood.
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Type O negative: The blood type that can be transfused to nearly everyone and is what doctors reach for in trauma situations. Platelet and type O negative and B negative blood donations - in particular - are critically needed right now. It is often used for premature infants and trauma patients.
Twenty-five blood drives across the state were canceled during last week's storm, leaving the Massachusetts Red Cross 681 donations short.
Platelets are primarily used in the treatment of patients undergoing chemotherapy.
As part of the Blood Systems Blood Services division, LifeShare is included in a multi-state network of blood centers, according to the release.
Type B negative: The blood type that can be transfused to type B Rh-positive and negative patients.