Published: Sat, January 13, 2018
Health | By Jay Jacobs

American Red Cross searching for volunteers in New Jersey

American Red Cross searching for volunteers in New Jersey

The bitterly cold start to the New Year has resulted in a critical shortage of blood donations, and the American Red Cross is now urging the public to roll up its sleeves and help out.

"They can donate to anyone, so that's what we need right now, but we need all blood types because we are running really low on our supplies", said Ronda Kindred, Donor Recruiter for LifeSouth Community Blood Center.

Erie News Now stopped by to get an update on the critical need that was announced last week.

He said you can answer the questionnaire on the app before coming to the blood drive, saving 15 to 20 minutes.

This winter's particularly rough and early flu season, combined with the aftermath of natural disasters such as Hurricane Harvey, Hurricane Irma and Hurricane Maria, have created an even greater need for blood donations regionally and nationally. 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.

O-negative blood is considered the universal donor and can be given to any patient in need, while B-negative blood blood can be transfused to B positive and negative donors.

Sallie Coron, the coordinator of blood collections for the U.P. Regional Blood Center has reported a steady amount of donations for the month so far.

Severe winter weather with snow storms and frigid temperatures has had a tremendous impact on blood donations. Typically, donors must be at least 17-years-old, weigh at least 110 pounds, be in good health and meet a series of other eligibility requirements. O blood is the most common blood type. "They can also print or email their pass".

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