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Red Cross asking St. Louisans to donate blood and platelets

"We are urging people, once the weather breaks, to make an appointment to donate."

ST. LOUIS — The American Red Cross of Missouri – Arkansas is needing your help as blood and platelet donations begin to dwindle.

They urge anyone eligible to make an appointment and donate as soon as the cold weather breaks. That includes anyone who is healthy and feeling well, weighs more than 110 pounds and is 16 years or older.

According to the news release, heavy snow, ice storms and frigid temperatures have forced blood drive cancellations in 30 states including Missouri, causing more than 16,000 blood and platelet donations to go uncollected this month. They said the wintery forecast is exacerbating the impact COVID-19 has had on donations overall.

More than 20 blood drives and donor centers were canceled or closed in St. Louis alone, resulting in nearly 550 fewer blood donations. More cancelations are still likely due to the lingering effects of the severe winter weather.

In total, the Missouri-Arkansas region has had 89 drives canceled, and 2,231 uncollected blood donations.

The Red Cross is also continuing to urge COVID-19 survivors to donate convalescent plasma to treat patients currently suffering from COVID-19. The plasma contains certain antibodies to help fight the infection.

To qualify to donate convalescent plasma, you must be at least 17 years old and weigh 110 pounds, be in generally good health and have a verified diagnosis of COVID-19 but are now symptom-free.

To donate plasma, sign up and fill out the questionnaire on the American Red Cross website here. To give blood, make an appointment here.

As shown on KSDK's 7-day weather forecast, next Monday and Tuesday will warm up to even reach 55 degrees on Tuesday. It could be just the time to donate blood and platelets.