Emergency need for blood donors

PHOTO: Medical blood testing, Photo Date: 2/19/2014
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LANSING, Mich. (WILX) - The American Red Cross is pleading for blood donations.

The group says they collected about 27,000 fewer blood and platelet donations over the holiday season than in previous years.

“During the winter months, snow storms, icy road conditions and seasonal illness like the flu often cause blood donors to delay their donations,” said Chris Hrouda, president, Red Cross Blood Services. “This further exasperates our already depleted blood supply from over the holidays. We are working every day to restock hospitals shelves with lifesaving blood products for patients and right now, we need all healthy, eligible individuals to give blood and platelets as soon as possible to ensure we can meet patient needs.”

The blood type in highest demand is type O.

You can go to the Red Cross website to make an appointment to donate.

Just put in your zip code and check out the dates for donation drives in your area.

It's easy to schedule your time, you just click on the date and location that you want to go to and a list of available times will propagate.

You can also sign up for CPR training on the site. As well as learn about emergency preparedness, how to heat your home safely, or how to volunteer.

January is national blood donor month and the Red Cross needs donors now to help mitigate a blood shortage.

You will need a blood donor card or driver's license, or two other forms of ID at check-in.

You need to be 17 years old, weigh at least 110 pounds, and in good health to donate blood.

To learn more about hosting a blood drive and to sign up to sponsor a drive this winter, visit RedCrossBlood.org/HostADrive.