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The Commons
Life and Work

Red Cross needs donors of blood, platelets following winter storm

Eligible donors can find a blood donation opportunity and schedule an appointment to donate by using the free Blood Donor App, visiting or calling 800-RED CROSS (800-733-2767).

Originally published in The Commons issue #400 (Wednesday, March 22, 2017).

The American Red Cross is urging all eligible donors to give blood or platelets following the recent winter storm, which forced 27 area blood drives to cancel, causing about 900 donations to go uncollected. There is a critical need for platelet and type O-negative donors.

“The need for blood and platelets is constant despite the weather,” Mary Brant, external communications manager, Northern New England Red Cross Blood Services Region, said in a news release. “Platelet donors and blood donors of all types, especially type O-negative, are urged to give when it’s safe to travel to an area blood drive or donation center.”

Platelets are tiny cells in blood that form clots and stop bleeding. Although they are needed for many reasons, cancer patients often rely on platelets during treatment.

Type O-negative donors are an important part of the Red Cross trauma team. Because it’s the universal blood type and can be transfused to patients of any blood type, type O-negative blood is what emergency-room personnel reach for when there is no time to determine the blood type of patients in the most serious situations.

Upcoming blood-donation opportunities locally include:

• Bellows Falls, March 23, noon to 5 p.m., United Church of Bellows Falls, 8 School St.

• Chester, March 27, noon to 5 p.m., Newsbank Conference Center, 352 Main St.

• Putney, March 31, 10 a.m. To 3 p.m., Landmark College, 19 River Rd. South.

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