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Friday Red Cross Blood Drive in Saline Responds to Critical Shortage

Approximately 280 blood drives in Michigan and two dozen other states were cancelled due to snow and polar vortex, resulting in a shortfall of nearly 8,400 blood and platelet donations this month.

Bill Crispin Chevrolet is hosting a blood drive Friday in response to a critical need for blood after severe weather last week cancelled dozens of blood drives across the state.

The blood drive will be held from noon to 5:45 p.m. at the dealership, located at 7112 E. Michigan Ave.

The American Red Cross says approximately 280 blood drives across 25 states were cancelled due to the snow and extreme cold associated with the polar vortex. The cancellations resulted in a shortfall of nearly 8,400 blood and platelet donations since Jan. 2.

“It’s the blood products already on the shelves that help save lives when severe weather hits,” said James Flickema, CEO for the Southeastern Michigan Blood Services Region. “Thanks to generous Red Cross blood and platelet donors, blood products were available for patients who still needed transfusions despite the weather. Now we invite those previously ‘frozen out’ from giving blood or platelets to come in soon.”

Platelet donors, as well as blood donors with the most in-demand blood types – O positive and negative, A negative and B negative – are urgently needed to give blood in the days and weeks ahead to offset the shortfall.

Platelets, a key clotting component of blood often needed by cancer patients, must be transfused within five days of donation, so donations are constantly needed. Red blood cells, the oxygen carrying component of blood, are the most widely transfused blood product and must be transfused within 42 days.

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