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American Red Cross: ‘emergency need for blood‘

The bad weather is having an impact on the nation's blood supply. The American Red - Mohawk Valley chapter is urging you to find the time to donate.

Posted: Jan 31, 2019 11:45 PM

UTICA, N.Y. - The bad weather is having an impact on the nation's blood supply. The American Red - Mohawk Valley chapter is urging you to find the time to donate.

Only a handful of people were at the blood donation center in New Hartford Thursday afternoon, which is a huge problem according Linda Belton of the American Red Cross.

"We have cancer patients receiving chemo therapy," Linda Belton said. "We have accident victims who may lose large quantities of blood. People having a heart transplant, or heart attack victims that may need blood."

Right now, the Red Cross has less than a three day supply of blood in local hospitals. They strive for a five day supply. They are calling this shortage an 'emergency need for blood.'

Belton blames the weather. She said many of their regular donors don’t want to drive in bad weather conditions.
"We also had to cancel many drives,” she said. “Schools are canceled so many of our blood drives are canceled."

Last year, the Red Cross collected about 5,000 units of blood in Oneida County alone. They said they are way behind where they should be for the end of January.

But with weather forecasted to improve, they are hopeful more people will find the time to give the gift of life. All blood types are needed. There are number of mobile donation sites set up for the coming days, plus the donation center on Commercial Drive is always open.

It’s best to schedule an appointment. You can call 1 800-Red-Cross or visit their website.

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