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Red Cross calls for blood donations as it tries to recover from 'worst blood shortage in more than a decade'

Winter weather and the omicron variant combined to force blood drive cancellations nationwide this month, the organization said.

HARRISBURG, Pa. — Note: The video is from Jan. 13.

The American Red Cross of Central Pennsylvania said this week there's still a significant need for donations in the weeks ahead as part of the recovery from "its worst blood shortage in more than a decade."

Those interested in helping are urged to schedule the earliest-available blood or platelet donation appointment in their area to help ensure accident victims rushed to the emergency room, those being treated for cancer and others who count on blood product transfusions can receive lifesaving care without delay, the Red Cross said in a press release.

"Since the Red Cross issued its first-ever blood crisis alert, severe winter weather has further complicated efforts to rebuild the blood supply," the organization said. "Hundreds of blood drives have been canceled across the country due to winter storms in January, forcing about 6,500 blood and platelet donations to go uncollected."

As February approaches, and the effects from the spread of the omicron variant and winter weather persist, people are urged to make an appointment now to give blood or platelets in the weeks ahead by using the Red Cross Blood Donor App, visiting RedCrossBlood.org or calling 1-800-RED CROSS (1-800-733-2767).

"As a thank-you for coming out to help save lives during this blood crisis, Krispy Kreme is offering those who come to give blood or platelets a free Original Glazed® dozen through the end of January," the Red Cross said. "To receive the free Original Glazed dozen, visit a participating Krispy Kreme shop by Jan. 31 and present a donation sticker or a digital blood donor card through the Red Cross Blood Donor App."

Those who come to give blood or platelets in February, will receive a $10 Amazon.com Gift Card via email, thanks to Amazon, the Red Cross added.


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