The American Red Cross has extended its urgent call for donors of all blood types to give blood or platelets. With influenza escalating across the country and preventing some donors from giving, and winter weather threatening to cancel blood drives, the Red Cross now has a critical shortage of type O blood and urgently needs donors to restock the shelves.

Currently, the Red Cross has less than a three-day supply of type O blood available for patient emergencies and medical treatments. Type O positive blood is the most transfused blood type and can be given to Rh-positive patients of any blood type. While just 7% of the U.S. population has type O negative blood, it can be transfused to patients with any blood type and is what hospital staff reach for during emergencies when there isn’t time to determine a patient’s blood type.

Donors of all blood types—especially types O positive and O negative—are urged to make an appointment to give blood or platelets now using the Red Cross Blood Donor App, visiting, calling 1-800-RED CROSS (1-800-733-2767) or enabling the Blood Donor Skill on any Alexa Echo device.
Upcoming blood donation opportunities include:

•Jan. 27 from 1-6:45 p.m., VFW Post 4139, 128 Daley Road in Lapeer

•Feb. 5 from 10 a.m. – 3:45 p.m., Lapeer Community Mental Health, 1570 Suncrest Drive in Lapeer

•Feb. 9 from 9 a.m. – 2:45 p.m., Bishop Kelley School, 926 W. Nepessing Street in Lapeer

•Feb. 17 from 1-6:45 p.m., Almont Lions Hall, 222 Water St. in Almont

•Feb. 25 from 1-6:45 p.m., St. Paul Lutheran Church, 200 N. Cedar St. in Imlay City

•March 2 from 12- 5:45 p.m., St. Cornelius Church, 3834 N. Mill St. in Dryden

All blood types are needed to ensure a reliable supply for patients. A blood donor card or driver’s license or two other forms of identification are required at check-in. Individuals who are 17 years of age in most states (16 with parental consent where allowed by state law), weigh at least 110 pounds and are in generally good health may be eligible to donate blood. High school students and other donors 18 years of age and younger also have to meet certain height and weight requirements.

Blood and platelet donors can save time at their next donation by using RapidPass® to complete their pre-donation reading and health history questionnaire online, on the day of their donation, before arriving at the blood drive. To get started, follow the instructions at or use the Blood Donor App.

—Todd Kulman
American Red Cross