Winter weather takes toll on blood supply

March is American Red Cross Month, and officials have issued an urgent plea to all potential blood donors.

The American Red Cross says that winter weather has caused the cancellation of countless blood and platelet donations. The shortage now stands at 28.000 units and continues to climb. Its national blood supply level is at its lowest in 10 years.

The agency is now urging all eligible donors to donate as soon as possible. All blood types are needed, especially O-negative.

Every two seconds a patient in the U.S. needs a blood transfusion. Blood and platelets are critical for trauma victims, heart surgery, organ transplant patients, as well as premature babies and patients being treated for cancer.

If you're at least 17 years of age, or 16 with parental permission, weigh at least 110 pounds and are in good health, you are eligible to donate. To find out how you can help call 1-800-RED CROSS or go to

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