We Are Blood in critical need of Type O blood

DONATE NOW Blood Service mascot Billy Blood Drop is looking for some

Todd Kulman - with the Red Cross of MI - says the severe winter weather over the past few weeks has been a major cause of the shortage, along with high levels of sick people during this cold and flu season.

January is National Blood Donor Month and it could not have come at a better time as the American Red Cross faces a winter blood donation shortage.

It's not only the local hospitals that need blood, many hospitals across the country are also in need of donations.

This comes after a slow November and December with "seasonal illnesses, such as the flu, and hectic holiday schedules collectively contributing to more than 28,000 fewer donations than what was needed".

The need is especially critical on the East Coast which has been socked by frigid temperatures.

Eligible donors are strongly encouraged to make an appointment as soon as possible for an upcoming local blood drive. A blood donor card or driver's license or two other forms of identification are required at check-in. Their shelf life is very short-only 5 days-while whole blood or red cell donations can last 42 days.

2, the blood center is only projected to receive 53 percent of its normal weekly donations in the coming week.

Related news: