Urgent call for donors: Blood donations have dropped at United B - KULR8.com | News, Weather & Sports in Billings, Montana

Urgent call for donors: Blood donations have dropped at United Blood Services

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BILLINGS, Mont. -

There is an urgent call for blood and platelet donors to help tackle a drop in donations. According to American Red Cross, severe winter weather has had an impact on blood donations with more than 150 blood drives forced to cancel causing over 5,500 blood and platelet donations to go uncollected.

Erin Baker with United Blood Services who said the number of donors during the winter time drops by 40 percent. Baker said the reason for this drop is partially due to cold and flu season. She said a lot of their healthy donors tend to get hit with sickness during the winter time, which is why they encourage new donors to stop by.

Another reason why blood donations have decreased is because traveling during the wintertime is much more difficult.

The last obstacle United Blood Services faces around this time of year is the amount of surgeries people tend to do because many people are on vacation and use that time for more important matters.

Baker said donating blood or platelets is always needed.

"We really want everybody to realize there's no substitute for human blood and even though at some point, 90 percent of us will need blood by the time we're 70, only 10 percent actually give it," Baker said.

UBS is the only blood provider for nearly 30 hospitals across Montana and western Wyoming. According to UBS, about 30 percent of their blood supply goes to cancer patients and one in seven people entering the hospital will need blood.

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