WASHINGTON, D.C. (CBS SF) — Severe weather that forced the cancellation of blood drives across the country has the American Red Cross issuing an urgent request for blood and platelet donors, Red Cross officials said.

Storms this month have forced the cancellation of more than 200 drives, a loss of 7,000 blood and platelet donations. The Red Cross also lost 26,400 blood and platelet donations in February because of severe weather, officials said.

The severe weather hasn’t reduced the need for blood, Red Cross officials said.

“Blood products are being delivered to hospitals almost as quickly as they come in,” Northern California Blood Services Region spokeswoman Sara O’Brien said in a statement. “Donors who give now aren’t just restocking our shelves, they are making sure hope continues to be available for patients in need.”

Donors with blood types O negative, A negative, B negative, AB negative and AB positive are especially encouraged to give. Platelets are also urgently needed.

The Red Cross must receive 15,000 pints of donated blood each day to meet patient needs at about 2,600 hospitals nationwide, according to the organization.

If you can donate blood, you can click here to schedule a donation.

© Copyright 2015 by CBS San Francisco and Bay City News Service. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Comments (2)