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As a result, the organization is ramping up its local commemorations of National Blood Donor Month for January like the red smokestacks at the Quarry.

In North Carolina alone, 23 blood drives were cancelled or closed early due to last week's winter storm, with almost 600 uncollected donations. Further adding to the diminishing supply, hectic holiday schedules, winter weather and an active cold and flu season collectively contributed to more than 28,000 fewer donations than what was needed in November and December.

"Even temporary disruptions to blood and platelet donations can diminish the availability for hospital patients", said Mary Brant, external communications manager of the Northern New England Red Cross Blood Services Region.

Donors of all blood types are needed.

"We are profoundly grateful for all of you - from those who roll up a sleeve to give, to those who donate funds so that the Red Cross can meet patient needs". 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. Officials say it is especially necessary in emergencies when a blood type isn't known.

Many donors have planned to take part in the day's collection with an appointment, but walk-ins also will be taken on Monday.

Eligible donors with types O, A negative and B negative blood are urged to make a Power Red donation, where available. They have to be transfused within five days, Lewis said.


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