Because of the loss of donors, the Red Cross has seen more than 28,000 fewer donations over the last two months, and is in urgent need of blood and blood-platelet donations.
"Thank you to those wonderful people from the Ipswich community who rolled up their sleeves and gave blood during the festive season, because your gift has helped to save lives", she said.
Severe winter weather has caused 150 blood drives to cancel, meaning over 5,500 blood and platelet donations go uncollected, the American Red Cross reported.
We Are Blood is experiencing a critical blood shortage and is in need of donations, especially types O negative and O positive blood, according to organization officials.
Donations are needed right now so that patients can continue to receive lifesaving treatments.More news: Irish West Ham player kicked in the face and loses tooth
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Nationally, the Red Cross, via donations, provides about 40 percent of the country's blood supply.
And it will support a nationwide effort to boost donations, as January is National Blood Donor Month. O-negative, the universal blood type that's always in high demand, can be given to patients of any blood type.
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.
"It's an important blood type for emergency situations", Lewis said.
Donors were at a blood drive Monday sponsored by the Troy Rotary Club inside the Bank of America building. Daily, the organization collects more than 13,000 blood donations for patients at 2,600 US hospitals.