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Red Cross extending hours after blood donation shortfall

Eau Claire (WEAU) -- The American Red Cross is asking for help after a long run of bad weather hurt blood donations. The organization says it was forced to cancel more than 250 blood drives in 25 states because of snow and the extreme cold.

The Chippewa Valley Blood Donation Center at 3485 East Hamilton Avenue in Eau Claire will stay open later and longer for a while, to allow more people to donate blood on a time that works for them. They're going to stay open an extra hour every weekday until January 20th.

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Red Cross Press Release:

EAU CLAIRE, Wis. (Jan. 9, 2014) — As severe winter weather begins to subside, the American Red Cross is asking all eligible blood donors to help offset a weather-related shortfall in donations.

Approximately 280 blood drives across 25 states were canceled across the U.S. due to snow and extreme cold. The blood drive cancellations resulted in a shortfall of nearly 8, 400 blood and platelet donations since Jan. 2.

Eligible donors can help boost donations immediately. The Chippewa Valley Blood Donation Center, 3485 East Hamilton Ave., will temporarily offer extended hours to allow for more blood donation appointments. From Jan. 10 to Jan. 20, 2014, the donation center will be open one additional hour each day. Call 1-800-RED CROSS (1-800-733-2767) or visit redcrossblood.org to make an appointment or for more information.

“It’s the blood products already on the shelves that help save lives when severe weather hits,” said Geoff Kaufmann, CEO of the Red Cross North Central Blood Services Region. “Thanks to generous Red Cross blood and platelet donors, blood products were available for patients who still needed transfusions despite the weather.”

Blood donors with the most in-demand blood types — O positive and negative, A negative and B negative — are urgently needed to give blood in the days and weeks ahead to offset the shortfall.

How to donate blood
Simply call 1-800-RED CROSS (1-800-733-2767) or visit redcrossblood.org to make an appointment or for more information. A blood donor card or driver’s license or two other forms of identification are required at check-in. Individuals who are 17 years of age (16 with parental consent in some states), weigh at least 110 pounds and are in generally good health may be eligible to donate blood. High school students and other donors 18 years of age and younger also have to meet certain height and weight requirements.

About the American Red Cross

The American Red Cross shelters, feeds and provides emotional support to victims of disasters; supplies about 40 percent of the nation's blood; teaches skills that save lives; provides
international humanitarian aid; and supports military members and their families. The Red Cross is a not-for-profit organization that depends on volunteers and the generosity of the American public to perform its mission. For more information, please visit redcross.org or visit us on Twitter at @RedCrossBloodNC.


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