Illinois blood supply affected by deep freeze

January 10, 2014 10:36:20 AM PST
Health officials are putting out the word that supplies are running low after blood drives in Illinois were canceled because of this week's winter weather.

Severe winter weather has impacted the ability of the American Red Cross to collect blood and platelet donations.

The Red Cross says that about 300 blood drives were canceled in 25 states which resulted in a shortage of more than 8,800 blood and platelet donations.

The Red Cross is encouraging donors in unaffected areas to make and keep blood and platelet donation appointments to help offset the current shortage.

According to a statement, The Red Cross said that there is a urgent need for blood types O positive, O negative, A negative and B negative. Eligible donors with these blood types are strongly encouraged to make an appointment to give in the coming days.

At the Central Illinois Community Blood Center in Springfield, officials say there've been about 600 fewer donations.

And in the St. Louis area, more than 30 different blood drives were canceled.

January donations are particularly important to make up for traditional holiday decline in blood supplies.

Groups are trying to reschedule blood drives and are offering incentives to donate. In Springfield, donors can be entered to win a snow blower.

For more information about donating blood, or to make an appointment to donate blood or platelets, call 1-800-RED CROSS.

The Associated Press contributed to this article.