The American Red Cross is issuing an emergency call for blood donations due to a severe winter blood shortage.

Officials with the New York-Penn Region say hectic holiday schedules for many regular blood donors contributed to about 37,000 fewer donations in November and December.

Nearly 100 blood drives were cancelled 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 Patty Corvaia, communications manager of the New York-Penn Red Cross 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.”

You can find a blood donation opportunity and schedule and appointment to donate by visiting or by calling 1-800-RED CROSS (1-800 733-2767)

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