Blood donations down due to severe storms - NBC Right Now/KNDO/KNDU Tri-Cities, Yakima, WA |

Blood donations down due to severe storms

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YAKIMA, Wash. -- The American Red Cross announced they've had to cancel over 750 blood drives nationwide since January, due to severe winter storms across the country.

Steve Stegeman, CEO for the Pacific NW Blood Services Region of the Red Cross, says recent snow storms and power outages have impacted the blood supply around the country.

"While our local blood supply is strong, local donors can help other Red Cross operations in the affected areas. Eligible donors are encouraged to make an appointment in the coming days and weeks," Stegeman said.

The cancellations of the blood drives have resulted in a shortfall of more than 28,000 blood donations, according to the Red Cross.

The Red Cross distributes blood products to about 3,000 hospitals and transfusion centers across the United States. 

People are asked to make and keep an appointment to give blood by calling 1-800-RED CROSS (1-800-733-2767) or visiting http://www.redcrossblood.org/. Red Cross leaders say all blood types are needed, but there is a special need for donors with O-Negative, A-Negative and B-Negative blood.

You must be 17 years of age, or with parental permission in some states if 16, meet the 110-pound weight and height requirements, and in good health to donate blood. If you donate, you're asked to bring your Red Cross blood donor card or other form of positive ID.

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