The American Red Cross has a severe winter blood shortage and is issuing an emergency call for blood and platelet donors to make a donation appointment now and help save patient lives.

Hectic holiday schedules for many regular blood donors contributed to about 37,000 fewer donations in November and December than what was needed. Snowstorms and severe weather have also impacted donations. Nearly 100 blood drives were forced to cancel in December, resulting in more than 3,100 blood donations going uncollected.

“Blood and platelet donations are critically needed in the coming days so that patients can continue to receive the lifesaving treatments they are counting on,” said Rodney Wilson, communications manager for Red Cross Indiana-Ohio Blood Services Region. “We encourage donors to invite a family member or friend to donate with them to help meet patient needs. Right now, blood and platelet donations are being distributed to hospitals faster than they are coming in.”

How to help
Find a blood donation opportunity and schedule an appointment to donate by using the free Blood Donor App, visiting redcrossblood.org or calling 1-800-RED CROSS (1-800-733-2767). The Red Cross is extending hours at many donation sites for more donors to give blood or platelets. Overall, the Red Cross has added nearly 200 hours to blood donation centers and community blood drives across the country over the next few weeks. Donation appointments and completion of a RapidPass online health history questionnaire are encouraged to help speed up the donation process.

“In about an hour, you can help save someone’s life. This simple act can have a profound impact on another human being,” said Wilson.

Who blood donations help
Every two seconds, someone in the U.S. needs blood. Accident and burn victims, heart surgery and organ transplant patients, and patients receiving treatment for leukemia, cancer or sickle cell disease may all require blood to save their lives.

The treatments high school freshman Payton Kannarr receives to fight leukemia cause her blood counts to drop. She currently receives platelet transfusions weekly and red blood cells about every two weeks.

“We have seen firsthand the incredible need for blood products as we have been on this four-year roller coaster journey,” said Amy Kannarr, Payton’s mom. “Through the care and compassion of donors, Payton has been able to enjoy life as a teenager.”

Upcoming blood donation opportunities:

Carroll County

Flora
1/5/2017: 11:30 a.m. – 5:30 p.m., Flora United Methodist Church, 107 E. Main St.
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Cass County

Logansport
1/5/2017: 12 p.m. – 6 p.m., Logansport Mall, 3900 E. Market Street

Galveston
1/10/2017: 1 p.m. – 5 p.m., Galveston United Methodist Church, 515 S Maple

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Fulton County

Akron
1/5/2017: 1 p.m. – 7 p.m., Akron United Methodist Church, 121 North Mishawaka

Rochester
1/6/2017: 11 a.m. – 4 p.m., Woodlawn Hospital, 1400 E. Ninth St.
1/20/2017: 12 p.m. – 5 p.m., Talma Community Building, 6873 N SR 25
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Howard County

Kokomo
1/7/2017: 9 a.m. – 1 p.m., Bethany Fellowship School, 600E 5169N
1/10/2017: 8 a.m. – 1 p.m., First Church of the Nazarene, 2734 S Washington St
1/10/2017: 10 a.m. – 3 p.m., St. Vincent Hospital, 1907 W Sycamore
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Miami County

Denver
1/9/2017: 2 p.m. – 7 p.m., First Baptist Church of Denver, 111 N Yorick

Peru
1/11/2017: 11:30 a.m. – 5:30 p.m., Parkview United Methodist Church, 1785 Indiana 19
1/14/2017: 9 a.m. – 1 p.m., Moose Lodge Family Center #249, 110 N. Broadway
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Newton County

Kentland
1/6/2017: 2 p.m. – 6 p.m., Kentland Community Center, 401 North 4th Street
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Tippecanoe County

Lafayette
1/18/2017: 4 p.m. – 8 p.m., Faith Church, 5572 Mercy Way

West Lafayette
1/17/2017: 10 a.m. – 4 p.m., Krannert School of Management, 403 West State Street
1/19/2017: 10 a.m. – 4 p.m., Schleman Hall, 475 Stadium Mall Drive
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Wabash County

North Manchester
1/5/2017: 12 p.m. – 6 p.m., Manchester Church of the Brethren, 1306 Beckley Street

Wabash
1/6/2017: 11 a.m. – 3 p.m., Wabash Parkview Hospital, 710 N. East St.
1/13/2017: 9 a.m. – 1 p.m., Whites Residential and Family Service, 5233 S 50 E
1/17/2017: 12 p.m. – 6 p.m., First United Methodist Church, 110 N. Cass St.
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White County

Monticello
1/13/2017: 11 a.m. – 4 p.m., IU Health White Memorial Hospital, 720 South 6th Street

About the American Red Cross:
The American Red Cross shelters, feeds and provides emotional support to victims of disasters; supplies about 40 percent of the nation’s blood; teaches skills that save lives; provides international humanitarian aid; and supports military members and their families. The Red Cross is a not-for-profit organization that depends on volunteers and the generosity of the American public to perform its mission. For more information, please visit redcross.org or cruzrojaamericana.org, or visit us on Twitter at @RedCross.

SOURCE: News release from American Red Cross