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January Blood Supply Lowest In A Decade
Severe winter weather throughout much of the eastern half of the United States in recent weeks has caused the cancellation of more than 14,000 blood and platelet donations through the American Red Cross, more than 3,200 of which were in the Carolinas Region. The severity of the impact has stressed even the Red Cross’ robust national inventory management system, which can move blood products to where they’re needed most, such as when severe weather hits. 
“We have not seen the January supply drop this dramatically in a decade and we need to reverse this now,” said Joyce H. Brendel, American Red Cross Carolinas Region’s chief executive officer. “You don’t wait to refuel once you’ve run out of gas. Donating blood or platelets now helps ensure immediate and future patient needs will be met.”
The Red Cross urges all eligible donors in unaffected areas to make an appointment to give blood or platelets in the coming days, and those in affected areas to donate as soon as travel is deemed safe, by calling 1-800-RED CROSS (1-800-733-2767) or by visiting redcrossblood.org. Donations will help replenish the Red Cross blood supply to ensure that blood products are readily available for patients with serious medical needs.
The need for blood is constant. Every two seconds a patient in the United States needs a blood transfusion. Blood is perishable and has no substitute. Red blood cells have a shelf life of only 42 days and platelets just 5 days – they must be replenished constantly.

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