American Red Cross seeking blood and platelet donations

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ILLINOIS - The American Red Cross says severe winter weather since January 1 has resulted in an emergency need for blood and platelet donors.

Red Cross officials say the severe weather has resulted in the cancellation of more than 300 blood drives in 20 states, resulting in more than 9,500 donations being uncollected and the current supply being strained.  Officials also say they must collect about 14,000 donations every day to serve patients at 2,600 hospitals and transfusion centers across the state.

Blood and platelets received through donations are used to help accident and burn victims, heart surgery and organ transplant patients, and individuals undergoing treatments from cancer, leukemia, or sickle cell disease.

Individuals who are 17 years of age or older, weigh more than 110 pounds, and are in generally good health are eligible to donate.  For more information on blood donation, or to make an appointment to donate, click here or call (800) 733-2767.

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