GRAND RAPIDS, Michigan — Heavy snow and sub-zero temperatures forced Versiti Blood Center of Michigan, formerly Michigan Blood, to cancel more than 80 community blood drives across Michigan in January. In the wake of the polar vortex, the Blood Center issued an emergency appeal for blood donations.
The canceled blood drives resulted in a lost of more than 3,000 blood donations in January.
"The blood supply has reached emergency-need levels," a release said on Monday.
All blood types are at low-levels, but in the days ahead, there is a "dire need" for O-positive, O-negative and platelet donations.
Versiti Blood Center of Michigan serves 69 hospitals across Michigan. They said that 560 people must donate blood daily in Michigan in order to meet everyday needs.
The blood bank typically keeps about four days worth of blood on hand, at any given time. As of now, there's only a day's worth of O-positive and a day and a half of O-negative supply.
"It's a really easy way to give back to the community that doesn't cost you a thing and you get a few cookies and juice," said Dr. LeeAnn Weitekamp, senior medical director for Versiti. "We're not turning any walk-ins away, we'll take you up to the last possible moment that we're open."
Donating blood takes about an hour. To schedule an appointment to donate blood, call 1-866-MIBLOOD (642-5663) or visit versiti.org/Michigan.
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