Red Cross: Blood shortage now critical after severe weather, uptick in flu cases

Human blood donations, stock image.
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It is not uncommon for the American Red Cross to see a shortage in blood donations this time of year, however, recently the non-profit has announced the shortage has reached a critical level. 

Ongoing severe winter weather conditions have more than doubled the number of canceled blood drives, resulting in a shortage of blood and platelet donations. In addition, bitter cold and widespread flu have both contributed to very low turnout at the blood drives that don't get canceled. 

According to a release from the Red Cross, more than 550 blood drives were forced to cancel in January. 

“Blood and platelet donations are currently being distributed to hospitals faster than they are coming in,” said Todd Kulman, external communications manager of the Great Lakes Blood Services Region. “Donors are critically needed to restock the shelves for patients in their community as well as areas where donors are unable to give due to inclement weather.”

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To make an appointment to donate blood or platelets, you can download the free Red Cross Blood Donor App, visit redcrossblood.org or call 1-800-733-2767.

UPCOMING BLOOD DONATION OPPORTUNITIES: Jan. 23 to Feb. 15

ALLEGAN
Fennville
1/30/2018: 12 p.m. - 5:45 p.m., Fennville Community Athletic Center, 5 Memorial Drive

Allegan
2/1/2018: 9 a.m. - 2:45 p.m., Allegan Alternative High School, 550 Fifth Street
2/7/2018: 10:30 a.m. - 5:15 p.m., Allegan General Hospital, 555 Linn Street

Otsego
2/6/2018: 12 p.m. - 5:45 p.m., Church of God, 112 Kalamazoo Street

Plainwell
2/8/2018: 11 a.m. - 5:45 p.m., Gun Plains Township Hall - Plainwell, 381 8th st

Martin
2/12/2018: 9:45 a.m. - 3:30 p.m., Martin High School, 1556 Chalmers
2/13/2018: 12:30 p.m. - 6:15 p.m., Martin United Methodist Church, 969 E. Allegan Street

Hamilton
2/15/2018: 12 p.m. - 5:45 p.m., Hamilton Reformed Church, 3554 M-40

 

KENT
Grand Rapids
1/24/2018: 10 a.m. - 3:45 p.m., Davenport University, 6191 Kraft Ave

Alto
2/12/2018: 12:30 p.m. - 6:15 p.m., Kettle Lake Elementary, 8451 Garbow Drive

 

OTTAWA
Allendale
1/23/2018: 11:30 a.m. - 5:15 p.m., Grand Valley State University Kirkhof Center,
Grand Valley State University, One Campus Drive
2/5/2018: 11:30 a.m. - 5:15 p.m., Grand Valley State University Kirkhof Center,
Grand Valley State University, One Campus Drive

Zeeland
1/26/2018: 11 a.m. - 4:45 p.m., City on a Hill Ministries, 100 Pine Street
2/6/2018: 11:30 a.m. - 5:15 p.m., First Baptist Church, 246 W. Main Street

Holland
1/29/2018: 10 a.m. - 3:45 p.m., Fifth Third Bank, 36 E. 8th Street
2/2/2018: 10 a.m. - 3:45 p.m., Intersection Ministries, 945 136th Avenue
2/4/2018: 8:30 a.m. - 2:15 p.m., First United Methodist Church, 57 W. 10th Street
2/7/2018: 12 p.m. - 5:45 p.m., Hope College, 264 Columbia Avenue
2/15/2018: 1 p.m. - 6:45 p.m., Intersection Ministries, 945 136th Avenue

Hudsonville
2/3/2018: 9:15 a.m. - 3 p.m., Grand Rapids Harley-Davidson, 2977 Corporate Grove Drive

Grand Haven
2/9/2018: 12 p.m. - 5:45 p.m., Grand Haven First Presbyterian Church, 508 Franklin

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April Stevens is a multi-platform producer at WZZM 13. Have a news tip? Email news@wzzm13.com, visit our Facebook page or Twitter.