Winter storm causes blood donation shortage - WTOC-TV: Savannah, Beaufort, SC, News, Weather & Sports

Winter storm causes blood donation shortage

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SAVANNAH, GA (WTOC) -

The snow and ice forced the Red Cross to cancel hundreds of blood drives and close donor centers leading to a critical shortage for hospitals.

"The irony is that when it's difficult to collect it is when we need it the most," said Jerry Williams, the owner and Medical Director of Urgent Care 24/7.

The Red Cross has had to cancel more than 600 blood drives, 51 of them in Georgia, resulting in about 2,175 fewer than expected blood and platelet donations over the past four days. Because of the loss, the Red Cross is asking all eligible donors to donate blood types – O positive and negative, A negative and B negative are urgently needed.

"It's critical that our supply continue to be replenished all the time, so it's really important that people make an extra effort right now," said Williams.

South Carolina and Alabama are also low on blood. In Alabama Life South Blood Center teamed up with TCBY Frozen Yogurt to encourage people to donate blood this week. They were offering free yogurt, however, they only collected two pints of blood.

"It's a huge loss for us to not run those days and event run half of those days," said Steven Namie, of Life South. "And being out that many days is really devastating."

If you are interested in donating or to find an upcoming blood drive, call the Red Cross at 1-800-Red Cross or visit redcrossblood.org.

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