Harsh winter has hindered donations to Red Cross

Published 3:03 am Wednesday, December 31, 2008

By Staff
LANSING – Harsh winter weather conditions throughout Michigan have caused numerous cancellations of blood drives throughout the state and in an effort to maintain the levels of blood donations needed for area hospitals and their patients, the American Red Cross is urging individuals to donate over the holiday season.
"In December alone, the cancellations of blood drives have led to a loss of more than 1,300 blood donations," said Sharon Jaksa, CEO of the American Red Cross Great Lakes Region Blood Services. "As the year comes to a close, we encourage people to give the gift of life and find a blood drive near them to donate."
Patients in 127 Michigan hospitals depend on steady and consistent blood donations to ensure a safe and adequate supply for ongoing and emergency medical needs. A single blood donation can help save up to three lives.
Up to 3,900 lives could have been positively affected by the 1,300 units of blood lost this month.
Cass County will host a pair of blood drives in January.
The Ontwa Township Hall, 26225 US-12 in Edwardsburg will have a blood drive on Jan. 21, 2009, while St. Ann Catholic Church, 421 N. Broadway in Cassopolis will be the site of a drive on Jan. 27.
Decatur will also have a blood drive on Jan. 20 at the VFW Post at 560 Phelps St.
For more information on blood drives in your area, visit www.redcrossmichigan.org or call 1-800-GIVE-LIFE (1-800-448-3543). Blood donors must be at least 17 years old, weigh at least 110 pounds and be in good general health.