THE AMERICAN RED CROSS

The American Red Cross is issuing an emergency call for blood and platelet donors after approximately 37,000 fewer donations were given in November and December than expected. Donations are critically needed now so that patients can continue to receive lifesaving treatments.

The next blood drive in Big Sky will be held Tuesday, Feb. 7 from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. at Lone Peak High School. Details can be found at redcrossblood.org.

Hectic holiday schedules for many regular blood donors contributed to about 37,000 fewer donations in November and December than expected. Snowstorms and severe weather also affected donations. Nearly 100 blood drives were forced to cancel 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 Nick Gehrig, Red Cross Blood Services’ communications director. “Right now, blood and platelet donations are being distributed to hospitals faster than they are coming in.”

The Red Cross is extending hours at many donation sites so more donors can give blood or platelets. Overall, the Red Cross has added nearly 200 hours to blood donation centers and community blood drives across the country over the next few weeks.

Interested donors can streamline and shorten the process by scheduling a time to donate at redcrossblood.org, using the Red Cross Blood App, or calling 800-733-2767.