While all blood and donation types are welcome, there's a critical need for type O-negative and platelets, according to the release.
"Right now, blood donations are being distributed to hospitals as fast as they come in", said Natividad Lewis, a Portland-based spokeswoman for the Red Cross. Blood Systems is one of the nation's oldest and largest nonprofit community blood service providers, now serving more than 1,000 hospital and health care partners across 28 states to provide comprehensive transfusion medicine services for patients in need.
Platelets are primarily used in the treatment of patients undergoing chemotherapy. "Sometimes they'll send a friend or family member in their spot to donate so we don't lose that blood product".
Individuals who are as young as 16 years of age (with parental consent), weigh at least 110 pounds and are in general good health may be eligible to donate blood.
Michigan Blood stated there is now an urgent need for all blood types and a special need for O-negative blood, the universal donor, which has dangerously low levels.
Platelets, a key clotting component of blood often needed by cancer patients, must be transfused within five days of donation and, therefore, are always in high demand.
The agency also needs type O negative blood, which is a universal blood type that anyone can receive.
Eligible donors with types O, A negative and B negative blood are urged to make a Power Red donation, where available. Blood donors should bring photo ID.