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ST. LOUIS – The American Red Cross is asking for all eligible blood and platelet donors to consider making a donation.

Nationwide, approximately 300 blood drives in 25 states have been cancelled recently due to extreme winter weather, including snow and sub-zero temperatures. Nearly 30 of those drives were cancelled in the Missouri-Illinois Blood Services Region.

The Red Cross has been short 8,800 blood and platelet donations since Jan. 2.

"It's the blood products already on the shelves that help save lives when severe weather hits," said Scott Caswell, CEO of the Red Cross Missouri-Illinois Region. "Thanks to generous Red Cross blood and platelet donors, blood products were available for patients who still needed transfusions despite the weather. Now we invite those previously 'frozen out' from giving blood or platelets to come in soon."

O positive and negative, A negative, and B negative are the most in-demand blood types urgently needed. Platelets are constantly needed because they must be transfused within five days of the donation. They are most often needed by cancer patients.

If you would like to donate blood or platelets to the American Red Cross, call 1-800-RED-CROSS or visit their website to make an appointment.

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