Detroit, American Red Cross, Blood Donor, Blood Donation

DETROIT (WWJ) — A major blood shortage is being reported by the American Red Cross, and officials are asking the public to help by donating.

Todd Kulman — with the Red Cross of Michigan — says the severe winter weather over the past few weeks has been a major cause of the shortage, along with high levels of sick people during this cold and flu season.

“Severe winter weather has been the culprit during the month of January,” Kulman said. “We obviously had that massive east coast storm that just blew through last week. Then if you want to consider the months of November and December leading up to January we saw 28,000 fewer blood donations. That had to do a lot with winter weather, and active cold and flu season.”

January is officially known as National Blood Donor Month. However, Kulman says anyone who is sick should delay donating blood until they feel better.

“We just ask that they are feeling better,” Kulman said. “Most of our donors realize that when they are not feeling well they’ll call and cancel their appointment then call and reschedule for a later time when they are feeling better.

“We just ask that our donors are healthy, that they don’t have a cold and most of them (follow) that advice. Sometimes they’ll send a friend or family member in their spot to donate so we don’t lose that blood product.”

If you want to help by donating blood you can call 1-800-RED-CROSS or log onto redcrossblood.org.

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