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Blood donations down because of cold & snow

12:37 AM, Jan 12, 2014   |    comments
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GRAND RAPIDS (WZZM) -- The freezing weather and heavy snowfall has increased the need for blood donations.

Michigan Blood provides blood to more than 40 hospitals throughout Michigan, including those in the Grand Rapids area.
Because of the extreme cold and snow, many blood drives were canceled.

On a normal day centers usually collect around 400 donations throughout the state; on Monday they only received 44 donations. 

"It's no surprise to Michiganders that we get snow and cold weather in the winter, so to the best of our ability we plan in advance. We knew the storm was coming, we were doing everything we could, but we have to be very certain it's safe for our donors to come out," said Meredith Gremel, the head of marketing for Michigan Blood. "We do have an alliance with other independent blood centers across the country to make sure we always fill the needs of our hospital partners, but storms do make it extra difficult."

The blood types in highest demand include O positive, O negative, A negative, and B negative Anyone interested in donating blood can visit, or visit the blood center on Fuller Avenue NE.

The Red Cross is also making a plea for blood donations. It says approximately 280 blood drives in 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 January 2. In the Great Lakes region, the winter weather forced the cancellation of nearly 30 Red Cross blood drives, resulting about 850 fewer than expected blood and platelet donations over the past three days.

To make an appointment to donate blood, call 1-800-RED CROSS (1-800-733-2767) or visit

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