South Texas 'critically low' on blood donations


The American Red Cross is issuing an urgent call for blood and platelet donors Monday to help tackle a winter blood shortage.

Blood donations typically slow down over the holidays because high schools and colleges are off throughout most of those months and don't schedule blood drives at those times. The Red Cross says that means thousands of possible donations were not collected.

The Red Cross must collect more than 13,000 donations every day for patients at about 2,600 hospitals and transfusion centers nationwide. Then if you want to consider the months of November and December leading up to January we saw 28,000 fewer blood donations. "Unfortunately, as time passes, people get back to their routines and tend to forget that the need for life saving blood continues".

The Red Cross is urging eligible donors to support their local blood banks and help save lives. Any healthy person 17 or older (or 16 with parental consent) may be eligible to donate, although there are height and weight restrictions for people 16 to 18 years old. There's also a Blood Donor App. They have to be transfused within five days, Lewis said.

While all blood types are urgently needed, there is a more critical need for types O-negative and B-negative, as well as platelets. The Red Cross is a not-for-profit organization that depends on volunteers and the generosity of the American public to perform its mission.