Red Cross in dire need of blood

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LANSING, MI. (WILX) - The American Red Cross says they're in dire need of all blood type donations due to a slow December.

The American Red Cross is in need of blood and platelet donations of all types, especially type O.(Source: Vince Little / US Army)

Their executive director, says most people don't realize the consistent need for donations on a daily basis.

Kelly King, executive director of Mid-Michigan Red Cross said, "We're always in need of all blood types."

King says this past December they saw a huge decline in donations.

Typically they receive a bulk of their donations from schools, colleges, and other Red Cross partners hosting blood drives, but with students off of school and a lot of places closed through December, they missed out on those donations.

Adam Goff, manager of manufacturing said, "After the holiday season, we tend to see that because we don't see the same number of donors coming out in December, (now it) is flu season, so maybe donors are sick and can't get to the scheduled drive."

The Red Cross in Lansing serves as a distribution and storage center for donor platelets, plasma, and blood donations.

They say once they have it there it has to be sent out to the lab for examinations and testing before going to patients and hospitals.

"It's going to be based completely on hospital size and it's going to be based on their needs. So, our trauma centers, there's trauma 1, 2, 3, 4. Our trauma 1s, are obviously the ones that need the most blood," said Goff.

The American Red Cross says they consistently need donations from all blood types but specifically ones that are O-negative.

Goff says the majority of people have an O-positive blood type but in dire situations, O-negative serves as a universal donor.

"If someone's in an accident, they don't have time to type that patient. And if they're bleeding out, we need to get blood back into them immediately and O-neg is what we need for that," Goff said.

The American Red Cross says because they are a non-profit they rely heavily on donations and volunteering to continue to provide services to people in need.

They say if someone can't afford to donate financially or by giving blood, volunteering to help is always an option.

There are plenty of openings for volunteering at blood drive sites and driving deliveries.

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