Blood donations affected by freezing temperatures - FOX 5 KRBK is Springfield MO source for News and Weather

Blood donations affected by freezing temperatures

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(Springfield, Mo.--01/16/2018) The recent wave of cold weather is prompting many people to stay at home, causing blood supplies in the Ozarks to plummet to dangerously low levels.

January is National Blood Donor month, something that is more important than ever to remember.

"Our job is to make sure the blood is there everyday for patients use. Weather like this hampers us but can not stop us from fulfilling this need and fulfilling the wishes in these patients," explains Chris Pilgrims, Media Relations Coordinator, Community Blood Center of the Ozarks.

Pilgrim says frigid temperatures have led to the blood bank to cancel several mobile drives.

"Now with the winter weather that has hit high schools are canceling blood drives cause they’re not having school. So we’ve lost 120 potential blood donations today.

Patients at area hospitals use 275 to 300 units of blood every day. One blood donation can save three lives.

 "If you’re taking 225 donations per day and cutting 150 donations the ramifications of that can be severe and they can hit in a hurry."

While all blood types are needed, organizers say they have less than a one day supply and in a critical need of a-positive, a-negative, and o-negative blood types.

"We’re looking to ask the general public to try and pick up this shortfall as temporary as it maybe."

That's why Pilgrim is asking for donors to help tackle this winter blood shortage.

Janet Thompson is a regular blood donor and tells FOX5,"It’s very important to donate and you never know in what circumstances you might need a transfusion and so I would encourage everyone to come in and give."

Brett Picotte is also a blood donor and says,"this is so easy I don’t know why everybody doesn’t do it if they’re able.

Potential blood donors must be at least 16 years old, weigh at least 110 pounds and be in good health. To locate a blood drive in your area, call 1-800-280-5337 or visit  http://www.cbco.org

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